News and Analysis

‘The View’ Host Claims Twitter Is Mostly ‘Straight White Men’ Who Will Use Freedom Of Speech To Abuse Women

"Unleash the trolls."
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 12: Sunny Hostin attends the Help USA Scholarship Awards luncheon at The Plaza on December 12, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Lars Niki/Getty Images for Help USA)
Lars Niki/Getty Images for Help USA

Sunny Hostin claimed Tuesday that Twitter was populated primarily by “straight white men” — and suggested that if billionaire Elon Musk allowed for more free speech on the platform, people would use that freedom to be more abusive toward women.

Hostin and her co-hosts on ABC daytime talk show “The View” responded during Tuesday’s broadcast to the news that Musk, after weeks of talking about making such a move, had secured a deal to purchase Twitter.

“So the richest person in the world, Elon Musk is also a notorious Twitter troll, but he won’t have to worry about being banned anymore since he just made a deal to buy the company for $44 billion,” Joy Behar began, sharing a clip of Musk talking about what he believed freedom of speech entailed.

“Twitter has become a de facto town square, so it’s just really important that people have the – both the reality and the perception that they’re able to speak freely within the the bounds of the law. A good sign as to whether there’s free speech is – is someone you don’t like allowed to say something you don’t like? And if that is the case, then we have free speech,” Musk explained.

“For some reason a lot of people on the right are celebrating this as a big win for free speech. But the left loves free speech too, don’t we? So why are conservatives so excited over Musk taking over?” Behar asked, turning the question over to Hostin.

“I think Twitter can be a really horrible place, and I think people are excited because he is sort of going to unleash the trolls, right? I think he’s saying, ‘You get to say whatever you want. I’m going to take away the guardrails,'” Hostin replied. “And for me, that is something that is a bit scary.”

Hostin went on to suggest that she wasn’t the only one who was likely to be concerned by the move, arguing that more freedom of speech on Twitter would probably lead to more women facing abuse.

“And I think it’s going to be scary to a lot of women because there have been some surveys done and 38% of women around the world have said they’re on the receiving end of abuse on Twitter — 85% of women said they have seen the abuse,” Hostin continued, noting that not even one quarter of the world’s adult population was on Twitter, and claiming that most of those who were on the platform were “straight white men.”

“Twitter is not the real world. In fact, on Twitter it is predominantly straight white men. So when Elon Musk says, wow, this is about free speech, seems to me that it’s about free speech of straight white men,” she said. “And so let them have it. Let them just go at it. I enjoy the block button on Twitter.”

Hostin concluded by saying that she believed other platforms would overtake Twitter in terms of popularity.

“I think what may happen, quite frankly, with Elon Musk taking over is that there will be other social media platforms that take over where real people are talking and there will be real freedom of speech because I’m tired of billionaires taking over our modes of communication,” she said. “You have Jeff Bezos taking over The Washington Post, Mark Zuckerberg taking over Facebook and Instagram. Now you’ve got Elon Musk taking over Twitter. You know, I guess billionaires want to take over free speech and I’m not here for it.”

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