In 2017, a group of tech executives prostrated themselves before hostile British MPs who demanded tougher action on hate speech. Twitter´s representative announced that the platform was abandoning its “John Stuart Mill-style philosophy“, declaring it was “no longer possible to stand up for all speech”.

Yet, Elon Musk´s recent acquisition of Twitter for $44bn is premised on a return to the principles of Mill who wrote that: “Strange it is, that men should admit the validity of the arguments for free discussion, but object to their being ‘pushed to an extreme’; not seeing that unless the reasons are good for an extreme case, they are not good for any case.” And, like Musk, Mill believed that protection against private threats to free speech is as important as protection against the “tyranny of the magistrate”.

Read the full piece by Jacob Mchangama