Elon Musk's hypocrisy: funding a lawsuit that silences free speech

In a trademark display of hypocrisy, Elon Musk's Twitter has pledged to pay the legal fees for Dr. Kulvinder Kaur Gill, a Canadian physician who lost a defamation lawsuit she filed against her critics. Gill, who posted COVID vaccine-skeptic and anti-lockdown messages on Twitter in 2020, such as claiming "we don't need a vaccine," drew widespread criticism from the medical community and media. In response, she sued 23 doctors, journalists, and news outlets for defamation, attempting to silence their free speech.

A judge dismissed Gill's lawsuit under anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) laws, ruling that it was an attempt to stifle her critics' voices. Gill was ordered to pay $300,000 in legal fees to the defendants. Musk and Twitter stepped in after learning about Gill's crowdfunding campaign to pay the judgment, stating, "X is proud to help defend Dr. Kulvinder Kaur Gill against the government-supported efforts to cancel her speech."

However, X's statement conveniently omits that Gill was the one who initiated the lawsuit to suppress speech she disagreed with, including posts from critics on Twitter. As Mashable points out, "X leaves out critical information about this case that makes their position contrary to Musk and company's stated beliefs." While X claims "free speech is the bedrock of democracy," it seems this stance doesn't extend to Gill's or X's own critics, as evidenced by a recent lawsuit X lost against a nonprofit that published unfavorable reports about the platform.

From Mashable:

Also, while the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO), a regulatory medical body, did "caution" Gill over her COVID posts, those are intended to be educational or remedial measures, not punitive. Gill did not lose her medical license. (In addition, the CPSO was not involved in Gill's lawsuit.)

But, X's actions here shouldn't be too surprising. Musk and company just lost a lawsuit of their own — also struck down under anti-SLAPP law — one day after it announced their financial support for Gill. In that case, X sued the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a nonprofit that tracks hate speech online, over reports regarding X that Musk did not like.

See also: Judge slams Twitter's attempt to silence hate speech watchdog