How One Topic Expanded My Knowledge: What I Learned Recently #bloganuary

Bloganuary is a series of WordPress blogging prompts, one for each day of January. Today I am writing on the subject of something I learned recently.

Brittanica updated this article on the fifth of this month.

In 1989 a flood of fights contrary to socialist rule ejected in eastern Europe.

This episode set off the Velvet Upset, which acquired specific strength in the country’s modern places. Under the improvised authority of Václav Havel, a dissenter playwright and coauthor of Sanction 77 (1977), the City Gathering organized shows and strikes that demanded that public authorities acknowledge the common liberties outlined in the Helsinki Accords of 1975.

Czech playwright and dissident dramatist Dr Vaclav Havel (later President of Czech Republic) at a bus stop in London, June 19, 1968.

Havel was chosen for the post of interim president on December 29, 1989, and he was reappointed to the administration in July 1990. He became the country’s most memorable non-communist leader after 1948.

That kind of dissent is impressive if you learn about it in a light that it reflects positively on values you already celebrate.

What I learned further about freedom is something far more distressing, and it is only in that I think of ambition that the world’s richest man, Elon Musk, could make known to people far and wide that the site Twitter held hopes for free speech to flourish.

Musk then paid $44 billion for it.

FILE PHOTO: Elon Musk’s Twitter profile is seen on a smartphone placed on printed Twitter logos in this picture illustration taken April 28, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

According to estimates, Musk lost $200 billion when the trust he built with the shareholders of Tesla Corporation and the value of Twitter stock tumbled together. As Musk eventually proved he was not the brilliant innovator he was initially thought to be, his stock soared when Musk made the acquisition and then began to fall.

Initially, Musk seemed to be having a midlife crisis because he acted with such disregard for convention and good sense. As Musk’s political views changed, he ceased to advocate free speech but was apparently trapped in a right-wing quagmire, in which he demonstrated the need for extreme measures in doing business as a social media company, including firing most of its employees and adjusting the system quickly in response to the extensive losses he was suffering.

Musk was acting as a boss would, trying to make a service profitable. As time passed, Musk’s claim that Twitter would usher in a renaissance era of free speech seemed increasingly shallow. Nothing of the kind emerged in the wake of Musk’s bizarre tactics to make Twitter profitable.

Despite being discussed quite a bit already, I am not surprised that there were so many impersonators flooding Twitter with tweets that were nearly as convincing as real companies with a presence on Twitter actually held with the social media company when for the first few hours your account could be verified with a checkmark for a few dollars. Although Musk may have believed that he was acting in the name of free speech at that time, the fact that free speech lends itself to parody taught me a great deal about human nature.

When I thought of the free speech conundrum, I thought of the Velvet Revolution, I thought of 1984, I thought of Apocalypse Now, but here was near-incontrovertible proof that free speech is not a simple temperament.

Free speech is likely regarded among many with such cynicism that an effort to grant it, to create liberty, is met with glee, low moral standing, and even evil. Musk may not have intended it, but I believe he is aware that this is the result of the right to free speech. This right must be carefully considered and guarded.

Setting and Achieving Your Goals This Year #bloganuary

This year, I want to make sure that I can be part of the conversation at Twitter. It has become much more than a passing trend in recent years and is the platform of choice for many younger generations who finally–for better or worse– got their own voice on the internet. With all its ups and downs it still gives people so much freedom to express themselves, discover new things around them, and perhaps give something back as well with meaningful conversations. Let’s see how far I get

During Bloganuary, bloggers who blog about their private lives write about a topic-oriented writing prompt every day in January. Today’s prompt is: What is something you want to achieve this year? I am tackling that this way.

For 2023 I want to try to keep a hand in Twitter, given a lot of the attention, it’s got among social media platforms (and I’d say it is my favorite social media platform) about how it will do this year. It is the kind of platform that appeals to people from my generation, who never had a voice of their own until Twitter arrived and they became “very online,” which sparked the Twitterverse, a kind of “cult-like” zeal for microblogging that resulted in a lot of weird communications.

As far as I’m concerned, it wasn’t restricted to my generation, it doesn’t seem too weird to me, and Twitter gets a lot of hate (ironic considering it is often accused of being a platform for spreading hate speech, which is terrible, to begin with). Those with extremist views are usually targeted because they are unlikely to appear in the “real world,” the world beyond Twitter if they were not on Twitter.

On Twitter, I rarely see hate speech, and I would be offended if I did. There is a lot of negativity on Twitter, I agree, which does pose challenges to people’s mental health (and overall stability, I suppose), but a lot of that is in the form of sarcastic humor not all that different than the poor taste of ghastly writing that marked a lot of the best of the golden age of television, which also appeals, I suspect, to lots of people of my generation, but not at all entirely, and which isn’t the voice of the individual that Twitter lends itself to letting people feel they have (and which is obtainable). This one corner of the Internet offers the opportunity for the formerly unrepresented to move from silence to membership in a group of like-minded people, and while it has changed greatly since it first became a topic in mainstream media, no one has yet been able to totally negate it.

I’ll never feel I wasted time doing it because it was a lot of fun. It’s no longer as cool as when it resembled its original design, but products change, and with the bottom line that’s said to be facing Twitter, if it does have a chance of surviving say until the end of the year 2023, it will probably be accompanied by an upswing in popularity, which some say is happening, and which I sincerely believe is happening far more than those who believe it doesn’t.

I’ve seen it declared dead before. Despite my displeasure, I’m confident it’ll be more eventful than usual, given the excitement about it. It reminds me, as I mentioned above, of those days when it was discussed in the mainstream media.

Good luck if it’s your favorite one, too. Could well be a few highlights left to enjoy.