Be Very Careful Who You Follow on Twitter, or the PC Thought Police Will Come For You

Angry mob

A few days ago Elon Musk, founder and CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, unveiled a visionary, awesome plan to colonize Mars, and then the solar system. No less. For a couple of days Musk’s space colonization plan was all over the social media. But now the trending news about Elon Musk are that… he doesn’t follow enough women on Twitter. Unbelievable.

Motherboard started the attacks with a story titled “Elon Musk Follows Zero Women on Twitter.”

“Elon Musk hasn’t retweeted a woman in his last 100 tweets,” adds contributing editor Sarah Jeong. “The last time he retweeted a woman, it was in August. The woman he retweeted was his mom. But he doesn’t follow his mom, either.”

Before you ask, yes, Motherboard knew about Musk’s space colonization plan. They shared their story with a tweet:

Guess how many women Elon Musk follows on Twitter? Hint: same number of people currently on Mars.

Elon Musk replied on Twitter:

@motherboard I use twitter for news orgs. My Insta has same women as men. What’s up with the phoney PC police axe-grinding?

Musk’s reply makes perfect sense, if you ask me. He follows whoever he wants on Twitter, just like I follow whoever I want on Twitter, and you follow whoever you want on Twitter. But perhaps we should start being more careful, or the Politically Correct (PC) thought police will come for us.

On Twitter there is no option of hiding the list of people you follow, but perhaps there should be. I don’t play in Musk’s league, and probably you don’t either, so the PC thought police can’t do us much harm (yet), but the PC thought cops can do a lot of harm to tech companies, as shown by the recent hate wave against Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey for supporting Donald Trump. I think everyone should be free to follow the people they like on Twitter, and to support the political candidates they like.

Tech Leaders, Bad Boys

Elon Musk
Elon Musk

Another article on The Guardian extends the condemnation of Musk to other tech leaders.

“[For] many of the tech industry’s moguls, the world reflected in their Twitter timelines is bizarrely similar to the bizarre societies they have created in their companies: very, very male,” writes technology reporter Julia Carrie Wong. “[It] isn’t surprising that a leader in an industry notoriously averse to hiring women also appears to be uninterested in the views of women as expressed on Twitter.”

Wong goes on with a meticulous count of the women followed on Twitter by other tech leaders including Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Alphabet executive chairman Eric Schmidt, and venture capitalist Vinod Khosla. Wong concludes by paternally (sorry, maternally) recommending a list of women to follow to all these bad boys.

Political Correctness and Identity Politics Run Amok

ShameThis last episode of Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) intolerance, political correctness and identity politics run amok, reminds me of the BullShirtStorm.

The Rosetta mission of the European Space Agency (ESA), recently completed, has been one of the great space projects of the century. In 2014, the Rosetta team landed a spacecraft on a comet to perform scientific measurements and sent data and images back – a really impressive achievement. Sadly, most media coverage of the mission was centered on the pathetic BullShirtStorm caused by angry mobs of embittered feminists who didn’t like the shirt worn by mission scientist Matt Taylor at a press conference.

Isn’t it a good time to stop?

To the predictable accusations of misogyny, and of course racism and homophobia as well, I could reply that I am as gender-blind and color-blind as they come, and a very firm believer in everyone’s right to be left in peace. But, of course, the SJWs wouldn’t listen. However, what I need to point out is that the unthinking fundamentalism of the SJWs hurts the very social justice causes they pay lip service to.

Many reasonable and moderate people are “rebelling against the hegemonies of leftist dogma and political correctness,” noted Reason, “and ‘Trump!’ is, sadly, their rallying cry.”

This is why you get Trump.

Images from Wikimedia Commons, SpaceX, and Rochelle Hartman/Flickr.

Giulio Prisco is a freelance writer specialized in science, technology, business and future studies.