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Emily Carver is Head of Media at the Institute of Economic Affairs.

It’s a bad time to be woke – at least if the hysterical reaction to Elon Musk’s $44bn takeover of Twitter is anything to go by.

The Guardian is asking ‘Should you delete the app?’; queen of woke, actress and activist Jameela Jamil, has a sent her ‘last tweet’, removing herself from the platform as an act of defiance against the ‘lawless hate, bigotry and misogyny’ that will ensue on Twitter under Musk’s ownership.

Elizabeth Warren has said the deal ‘is dangerous for our democracy’. Civil rights activist Shaun King said the sale was “about white power”.

Many, like Jamil, have said they’ll remove themselves from the platform if Musk runs the show. It rather reminds me of the “If Boris Johnson wins the election, I’ll leave the country” brigade, none of whom subsequently left the country, as expected.

Similarly, I imagine Jamil, who enjoys a following of over one million on the social media platform, will fail to do so too when push comes to shove. How will Twitter users live without her daily selfies and feminist hot takes?

Of course, these are the same people who were most delighted to see Donald Trump removed from the platform. But now, they’re suddenly concerned that the platform could be used to manipulate politics. Who knew that that tech firms, run by billionaires, had significant control over what we see and hear?

Five minutes ago, they were championing Twitter’s right as a private company to kick out the undesirables; now they are calling for Twitter to be run like a public utility. Hard to square that circle, I’d argue.

Musk’s main pitch is to restore free speech on the platform; what he considers to be the ‘bedrock of democracy’. Whether one takes this at face value is up for debate, but as per usual the threat of free speech is enough to trigger the ‘liberal’ left – even though Musk has said that he hopes even his worst critics remain on Twitter “because that is what free speech means”.

It’s hardly surprising that there’s been such a backlash from the Twitterati. The platform is dominated by the woke and left-leaning – in a recent study 57 per cent of users were defined as “centre-left”, another ten per cent were classified as “extreme left”, while only eight per cent were considered to be centre-right.

It’s highly likely that many see Musk’s worldview as a threat, free speech advocacy as an indicator of bigotry… and there will be those who simply don’t like him because he’s very rich.

It remains to be seen what Musk will do with his ownership of the platform. It makes me uneasy, too, the power owners of these platforms have to manipulate public debate.

It may also be that, in this country, the Online Safety Bill, which will mandate platforms to proactively monitor user content for ‘harm’, will make it nigh-on impossible for him to exercise his free speech credentials. There are legitimate concerns, too, over his pledge to ‘authenticate all real humans’ which could remove the right to remain anonymous. But his principles appear sound.

What’s clear is that the battle against woke is well and truly on. We’re seeing an unprecedented shake-up of the news media landscape in this country.

The launch of talkTV, following the success of talkRADIO and GB News as challengers to the like of Sky and BBC news output, promises to disrupt the television news market further. There are now a multitude of platforms for those fed up with the perceived and real left-leaning ‘woke’ bias of the incumbents.

At the same time, we’ve seen streaming giant Netflix take a kicking after it announced a net loss of 200,000 subscribers globally and expects to lose a further two million over the next three months.

While the end of stay-at-home mandates, and increased competition will have had a significant impact on viewership, there is certainly some truth to what Musk described as the ‘woke mind virus’ which is ‘making Netflix unwatchable’.

Meanwhile, competitor Disney is at loggerheads with Republican governor Ron DeSantis in Florida after it paused political donations in the state and condemned a new education law which would ban discussion about sexual orientation and gender identity at primary school level.

They’ve now been stripped of their special status as a self-governing area of Florida – and the public backlash against their diversity and inclusion drives continues.

Many of us have hoped that the overreach of parts of the authoritarian left would lead to a swing back. People can only be forced for so long to subscribe to a world view that they do not believe in. Whether Musk’s takeover of Twitter does herald a new era of free speech, time will tell. But it’s clear change is afoot.