Anyone with any power in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia should probably not be involved in determining what constitutes free speech or whether free speech should be allowed in other countries.
That didn’t prevent Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud from giving his entitled two cents concerning whether Tesla CEO and the richest man in the world Elon Musk should be allowed to buy an anti-free speech echo chamber like Twitter.
The prince said that Musk’s premium offer to buy the entirety of Twitter doesn’t “come close to the intrinsic value” of the platform.
I don't believe that the proposed offer by @elonmusk ($54.20) comes close to the intrinsic value of @Twitter given its growth prospects.— الوليد بن طلال (@Alwaleed_Talal) April 14, 2022
Being one of the largest & long-term shareholders of Twitter, @Kingdom_KHC & I reject this offer.https://t.co/Jty05oJUTk pic.twitter.com/XpNHUAL6UX
Independent journalist and podcaster Tim Pool agreed with the sentiment of the Saudi prince, but not in a way that gave support to the entitled prince.
“I believe the Prince Alwaleed is correct,” Pool said during Thursday night’s edition of the Timcast IRL podcast. “$54.20 doesn’t come close to the value of Twitter, which is controlling the American news cycle.”
Absolutely! But, while Pool’s response was dead-on, it was Musk’s response to the prince that is grabbing attention, particularly the second question that the SpaceX founder asked the privileged prince.
“What are the Kingdom’s views on journalistic freedom of speech?” Musk asked in a Thursday response on Twitter.
Interesting. Just two questions, if I may.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 14, 2022
How much of Twitter does the Kingdom own, directly & indirectly?
What are the Kingdom’s views on journalistic freedom of speech?
As Daily Caller’s Brianna Lyman noted on Thursday:
Saudi Arabia is notorious for its surveillance and arrest of journalists. Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was brutally murdered in a crime personally approved by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, according to U.S. officials.
Abdulrahman Sadhan was abducted by Saudi security forces in 2018 for a Twitter account used to parody officials, according to The New Republic.[...]
Abdulrahman Sadhan was sentenced to 20 years in prison for violating the country’s speech laws that allow officials to essentially silence dissenters.
Saudi Arabian royalty should stick to what they know — oil and persecuting LGBTQ people — and leave free speech conversation to those who understand what that right even means.
You’d think for people that only live to persecute others and for money, as well as have a significant stake in Twitter, they’d want a sale like this to go through so they can make more money.
But it’s not just about money this time. It’s about controlling narratives and what people can and cannot say, and the Saudis love them some control.
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