I was unaware, and likely to remain unaware, of this now viral tweet before reading the Ethics Alarms Open Forum today. The tweeter, Uju Anya, is a linguistics professor who is a professor at Carnegie Mellon University. She tweeted the above as news broke that Elizabeth, 96, was “under medical supervision.”
Nice.Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos retweeted the thing and wrote: “This is someone supposedly working to make the world better? I don’t think so. Wow.” Carnegie Mellon’s spokespeople said, “We do not condone the offensive and objectionable messages posted by Uju Anya today on her personal social media account. Free expression is core to the mission of higher education, however, the views she shared absolutely do not represent the values of the institution, nor the standards of discourse we seek to foster.”
They are right, of course. Anya is an unethical, hateful jerk, embarrassing her employer who nonetheless can’t take any real action against her without violating academic freedom (though I bet it would try if she had tweeted that, say, Dobbs was spot on or that the U.S. needed to stop illegal immigrants from crossing the border, because then students would be signing petitions demanding she be fired.)
But Twitter took down the tweet.
I sure wish Elon Musk would hurry up and buy this hypocritical, anti-free speech, ethically-muddled social media blight on society so I could try it again. Glenn Greenwald tweeted, most correctly,
This professor has decided to be transparent to the world about just how mean-spirited, hateful, and unethical she is. She has also neatly revealed the kind of instructors students at Carnegie Mellon are likely to find themselves indoctrinated by. Good to know, wouldn’t you think? Valuable information, no? Exactly what social purpose is Twitter serving by censoring such a valuable expression of rotten character and uncivil manners, to minimize public recognition that the woman is an unapologetic asshole?
None that I can see. Twitter, however, is demonstrating the inherent unethical slippery slope that is censorship. First it’s “misinformation,” like, say, the discovery of a President’s son’s laptop, then it’s opinions they find offensive.
Come on, hurry up, Elon….