Elon Musk‘s recent meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi created a lot of buzz, especially in the wake of Twitter’s former boss Jack Dorsey’s claims about the Indian government’s intimidation of the social media platform during the Farmer’s Protest. While the Government of India denied Dorsey’s allegations, Musk was conspicuously silent on the issue.
In a recent interview, Musk set the record straight about Twitter’s obligations to the local government and the limits of free speech. He said that the microblogging platform has no choice but to obey local laws, or it will be shut down. He also said that the company will do its best to provide the freest speech possible under the local law.
Musk’s comments came as a surprise to many who expected the self-proclaimed free speech messiah to take a stronger stance against the Indian government. After all, he had previously stated that he didn’t want Twitter employees to go to jail for upholding free speech in India.
However, Musk’s comments also revealed the uncomfortable truth that companies like Twitter have to balance their commitment to free speech with their obligation to uphold the laws of the countries in which they operate. This balance is especially tricky when dealing with a country like India, where the laws are often seen as restrictive and archaic.
Ultimately, Musk’s comments may have been prompted by his desire to secure a firm footing for Tesla in India, even as the company’s relations with Beijing deteriorate. It appears that Musk is willing to compromise on principles in order to get the ‘dhanda’ done, which is typical of the billionaire.