Add Jack White to the growing list of musicians, activists and politicians who are fleeing Twitter in the wake of new owner Elon Musk’s so-far chaotic reign. Specifically, White blasted Musk for his controversial decision to reinstate former president Donald Trump to the platform after the site’s previous owners had permanently suspended the election-denying real estate mogul for violating company rules in the wake of the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
“So you gave trump his twitter platform back. Absolutely disgusting, Elon. That is officially an a–hole move,” White wrote in a lengthy note posted on Sunday (Nov. 20) after deactivating his Third Man Records label’s Twitter account in protest.
“Why dont you be truthful? Tell it like it is; people like you and Joe Rogan (who gives platforms to liars
like alex jones etc.); you come into a ton of money, see the tax bill, despise paying your fair share, and then think moving to Texas and supporting whatever republican you can is going to help you keep more of your money (How else could trump possibly interest you?),” White continued.
“You intend to give platforms to known liars and wash your hands like pontius pilate and claim no responsibility? trump was removed from twitter because he incited violence multiple times, people died and were injured as a result of his lies and his ego, (let alone what his coup did to attempt to destroy democracy and our Capitol).”
After posting a Twitter poll asking users if they would like to see Trump back on the service — just days after the failed 2020 candidate announced his third White House bid — Musk announced that he would return the suspended Trump account after around 15 million users allegedly voted 51.8% in favor of reinstating it. White’s post pointed to the division and “families broken apart” by Trump’s divisive rhetoric and its destructive impact on the nation as a reason to keep his conspiracy peddling account shuttered.
“That’s not ‘free speech’ or ‘what the poll decided’ or whatever nonsense you’re claiming it to be;
this is straight up you trying to help a fascist have a platform so you can eventually get your tax breaks.
I mean, how many more billions do you need that you have to risk democracy itself to obtain it?” White asked, giving Musk credit for doing “amazing things” with his electric car company, Tesla, which the rocker noted, he personally “supported the hell out of.”
But, White said, world’s’ richest Man Musk had gone “too far” and is now using his power to promote “horrible, violence-inducing liars, who are taking the country and the world backwards and endangering the democracy that made you rich and successful in the first place.” White said he steadfastly believes in free speech, though he noted that he would never let the Ku Klux Klan hold a rally at his record label’s performance stage, or sell the KKK gasoline burn crosses “then wash my hands as if I didn’t help facilitate hatred.”
White acknowledged that Musk took on a big responsibility in spending $44 billion on the site, but said that “‘free speech’ isn’t some umbrella that protects you from that.” In a follow-up comment on his Instagram, White said “shame on you” to Musk for giving Trump and other “professional liars” a place on Twitter; on Saturday, Trump, who launched his own social media site after being booted from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram after the insurrection, said he has no plans to return to the site. “And shame on you if you think it’s no big deal. It is,” wrote White of the decision Musk made in his signature move-fast-and-blow-up-things style.
Noting that he’s never had a personal Twitter account, White then announced that he’d de-activated the Third Man Records account, saying it’s a “shame that our label’s artists will los a social media outlet to promote their art,” and apologizing to his acts for doing so. “But we are not going to even tangentially support you or this platform that will help conspiracy spreading liars and out of touch narci-capitalists tear this country apart, all for trump’s ego and your tax break agenda,” he said.
White’s noisy exit follows Nine Inch Nails leader Trent Reznor announcing that he plans to leave his 1.6 million Twitter followers behind while saying “we don’t need the arrogance of the billionaire class to feel like they can just come in and solve everything.” Even without Trump, Reznor said he finds Twitter to be “such a toxic environment. For my mental health, I need to tune out. I don’t feel goo being there anymore.”
Among the other stars who’ve logged off for good in the days since Musk’s Oct. 28 acquisition of the company are: Alex Winter, David Dastmalchian, Laura Benanti, Gigi Hadid and Whoopi Goldberg, while others have signaled their intentions to stop using Twitter in the near future.
“You should return to using your money and influence in ways that help the world like the electric car did, not in ways that bring negativity and division to the populace,” White concluded his statement. “And no, this isn’t ‘funny’ either Elon, it’s dangerous. Enjoy your new found power as a ‘freedom of speech’ purveyor but remember that the violence and division that occurs based on those tweeting lies is directly related to you giving them a platform.”
At press time it did not appear that Musk had responded to White.
See White’s full post below.