Edward Snowden Schools Elon Musk on 'Freedom of Expression' Using McDonald's Following X Owner's Proposal To Temporarily Banish Flag Replacers

Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor turned whistleblower, has taken to X, to express his views on a poll created by Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk who also owns the platform formerly called Twitter.

What Happened: Snowden’s post defended the constitutional right to freedom of expression, which includes acts such as flag replacement. He also poses a rhetorical question to Musk, challenging the practicality of his proposed law.

Musk had posted poll on Thursday asking his 181.8 million followers on X a question regarding flag replacement. He proposed a law under which if “someone tears down the American flag and puts up another flag in its place, that person should get a free (but mandatory) one-way trip to that flag's country.”

At the time of writing, the poll received over 1.16 million votes with 79.9% voting in favor of Musk’s proposal and 20.1% voting against.

Snowden responded to Musk by sharing a picture of McDonald’s flags and posing a hypothetical scenario: If someone were to remove the U.S. flag and replace it with a McDonald’s flag, what action would Musk take in response to such an event?

Snowden said in another post, “Because no law—even one described, like the Constitution, as the ‘supreme law of the land’—possesses a force of its own; the ink cannot leap from the page to fight for your rights. A law can only defend the people when the people defend the law. Its power derives from our own.”

It should be noted that Musk said that he was not advocating a permanent banishment for the people who replace the U.S. flag.

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Why It Matters: The tweet comes in the wake of a series of incidents at universities across the US where pro-Palestinian supporters have replaced the American flag with a Palestinian flag during protests. These incidents have sparked debates about freedom of speech and the right to protest, according to a report from The Hill.

At the University of North Carolina, a GoFundMe was started for fraternity members who held up an American flag during a protest, receiving a $10,000 donation from billionaire investor Bill Ackman.

Meanwhile, at Columbia University, the New York Police Department had to intervene during pro-Palestine protests. In response to these protests, billionaire Leon Cooperman has vowed to halt donations to Columbia University, calling the student protests “antisemitic.”

Snowden’s tweet underscores the ongoing debate about the limits of freedom of expression and the right to protest, especially in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Photo via Wikimedia

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Posted In: NewsPoliticsGeneralColumbia UniversityEdward SnowdenElon Muskisrael-Hamas conflictMuskShivdeep DhaliwalSnowdenUniversity Student Protests
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