A man who claims to be a free speech absolutist – even if the misinformation it inevitably leads to subverts western democracies – has decided free speech must have limits now that his investment portfolio has been directly affected.
Simon Williams, 36, has been vociferously supporting Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover, insisting the platform should be 100% behind the principle of free speech, even if it leads to misinformation that can sway global elections because that is the price you pay for “true free speech”.
However, Williams now insists that Twitter needs to improve its verification measures after users of the platform used their free speech to spread misinformation that wiped billions from the stock market value of companies he has invested in.
He told us, “Of course I still believe in free speech. There is nothing more powerful than the marketplace of ideas, and if a little bit of misinformation gets through every now and again, and a few elections are lost as a result, then so be it.
“But I absolutely draw the line at it hitting me in the pocket.
“I can’t have people exercising their free speech on Twitter to spread misinformation that can quickly make my investment portfolio drop ten points. That isn’t free speech. It’s… it’s… something else.
“Elon needs to find a way to stop the bad kind of misinformation that costs me money, while allowing the good kind of misinformation that only affects democracy.
“Some sort of system where he defines what people are allowed to say, and more importantly, what they are not allowed to say. And he needs to do that while also being 100% behind free speech.
“That is a perfectly logical position to take. Yes it is, shut up.”