We’ve discussed at some length in the past how there’s a far-right alternative universe in which pedophilia and child sexual exploitation are not those actual things but cudgels to be used against political enemies, “globalists” and anyone even proximate to supporting the rights of the LBGT community. This is the wellspring of things like the “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory and much of what is now labeled QAnon.
For years on the far right of anti-Twitter “free speech” activism there have been hate campaigns targeting Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s former General Counsel, and Yoel Roth, head of Trust and Safety. Since Roth is gay and Jewish he’s been a particular target for the far-right spaces which have been the foot soldiers of this variety of “free speech” activism.
Roth stayed on during Musk’s early weeks at Twitter and Musk frequently put him forward to defend against claims he was opening the floodgates of hate on the platform. Roth was awesome. But then in recent days Roth took the fateful step of mildly criticizing Musk in public. Last night Musk retaliated by insinuating that Roth himself might be a pedophile and that that might explain Twitter’s purported laxity toward “groomers” and pedophiles before he acquired the company. Here’s one example.
As Bloomberg notes here, this is an excerpt from Roth’s 2016 University of Pennsylvania PhD dissertation “Gay Data” on the Grindr social network. Needless to say, cheerleading a smear campaign by the global far-right against a gay Jewish man is not only execrable and vicious. These campaigns frequently lead to real-world violence. While pedophilia or “grooming” is the primary charge, the online conversations are filled with every kind of Jew hate — images of gas chambers, hook-nosed cartoons and more.
There’s really no limit to the levels of predation and malevolence Musk is capable of. This is simply an alternative ecosystem in which charges of pedophilia are merely cudgels in far-right ideological combat. Musk actually notoriously did the same thing, though with less attention, to a British caver in 2018 when the man had the temerity to decline Musk’s DIY submarine suggestion during the effort to save a group of Thai youths trapped in a flooded cave.
Six weeks ago, Musk’s Twitter takeover was still apparently about “free speech” and the “woke mob” and unbanning Donald Trump. In a period of about a week it’s become a kind of Lord of the Flies of pedophilia smears. In recent weeks and months most mainstream press has taken these claims more or less at face value rather than as a thinly sanitized version of things like Pizzagate and QAnon. Now, admittedly, the thin layer of sanitization is harder and harder to find.
The additional irony is that Roth’s job at Twitter was policing and preventing hate speech and harassment campaigns. He ran interference for Musk in the first weeks of Musk’s takeover, one has to figure unwisely. Now he is on the receiving end of just the sort of campaign he was charged with preventing, only now one led by the owner of the platform he was once charged with policing. These campaigns were dangerous and vile in the past. When they’re led by a guy with 120 million followers who owns the platform it’s a different matter entirely. The entire online space now is a cage match between the “free speech” advocates aligned with Trump and the “globalists” and the pedophiles. And if you stick you’re head up you’re a pedophile too.