Elon Musk continues to block access to BBC documentary on Twitter as protests grow
How you can tell him to stop
Last week, in case you missed it, we reported that Elon Musk’s Twitter was blocking links in India to a BBC documentary critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his role in an infamous 2002 massacre.
Responding to the report, Musk claimed ignorance of the controversy, which has only grown since then — though he seemed to indicate some sympathy with those criticizing the censorship, opening up the possibility that with enough pressure, he might reverse the decision. “First I’ve heard,” he told somebody on Twitter who asked him about our story. “It is not possible for me to fix every aspect of Twitter worldwide overnight, while still running Tesla and SpaceX, among other things.”
The tone of the comment is striking, with a strong, “What do you people want from me?!” vibe, as if we’re the ones who ordered him to run three major companies simultaneously.
Still, if he wants to take orders from us, we’ve launched a petition urging him to reverse his decision and free the documentary. We’ll make sure he knows how many people signed it (assuming we get a big number; if we don’t, we’ll quietly slink away and not mention it).
Modi’s government has responded by saying the censorship is justified because the documentary is an expression of a colonial mindset, and I’ll freely admit that the fact that it’s the BBC that’s involved here makes it a little hairier than it might otherwise be. When it comes to a fight between Britain and India, nobody wants to see themselves aligned with the British. But this isn’t about them, it’s about the right of the people of India to watch the documentary and judge it for themselves, not the right of Modi and Musk to keep it from them. Students around the country have shown extraordinary bravery, risking arrest and hails of stones to organize viewings of the documentary. The least Musk can do is get out of the way.