Last Updated on December 16, 2022

Left-wing journalists, and politicians and influencers who supported the previous Twitter regime’s censorship activities — which have been detailed extensively in the “Twitter Files” — melted down on Thursday night after a number of leftist accounts were suspended. The barred users violated the company’s new doxing policy, or the disclosure of one’s location on the internet, Musk stated. As leftists expressed their outrage, Musk tweeted “I love Barbara Streisand,” a reference to the “Streisand Effect,” a phenomenon in which attempts to censor or divert attention away from a topic has the unintended consequence of drawing even more eyes.

The Streisand Effect is named after singer Barbara Streisand, who sued photographer Kenneth Adelman for posting a photo of her home that popped up in a scientific project on coastal erosion. Prior to the legal action taken, fewer than 10 people (including Streisand’s lawyers) had seen the photo.

After the lawsuit gained media attention, the photograph was viewed by millions of people.

Musk’s Streisand tweet seemingly references the unintended consequences of leftists calling foul over opaque content moderation that primarily affected the political right on the platform in the past. Many Twitter users grabbed old tweets from those criticizing Musk in which they cheered on the same tactics being applied against their political adversaries.

Those in favor of Twitter’s past censorship commonly argued that free speech only applies to government regulations and that private companies can do as they please. Others argued that “antivaxxers” and “insurrectionists” deserved to be banned after previously supporting the violent BLM riots of 2020 or pushing debunked conspiracy theories like “Russian collusion.”

Musk appeared to be implying that by banning the accounts, more attention would be drawn to the Twitter files, which detailed collusion between federal law enforcement agencies and Twitter for content moderation. Breathless coverage from the corporate press on arbitrary censorship would be an example of the Streisand Effect playing out.

Musk has also implied that the barred journalists will be reinstated in the near future. The Twitter CEO shared a link to a poll asking how long they should be banned, with nearly 40% voting for longer than seven days with another 40% voting for “immediately.” Others voted for one day or one week before Musk implied that they would be suspended for one week.

The suspended journalists shared links to an account that revealed Musk’s location, he said.

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