It feels like he’s been trolling us all for months now, but the world’s richest man and the new owner of Twitter appears to have finally used his social media power for good, with a Twitter poll asking whether or not Julian Assange and Edward Snowden should be ‘set free’.
As polls go, the ones on Twitter are hardly scientific. Indeed, according to former Twitter employees, Musk’s “Beloved Twitter Polls Are Bot-Driven Bullsh!t”.
Recently, Musk used a poll to decide whether or not to re-instate former US president Donald Trump’s account, with just 51 percent in favour and 49 against. The poll on Assange and Snowden, however, wasn’t even a contest.
Almost 3.2 million people voted at the time of press, with 80 per cent agreeing that Assange and Snowden should each receive pardons.
What influence that will have on authorities, if any, is yet to be seen. Assange is currently still locked up in the UK, battling extradition to the United States via the High Court, and also the European Court of Human Rights.
Assange, aged 51, has effectively been under arrest for more than a decade, after he sought refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in 2012.
In 2019, British police stormed the embassy and arrested Assange, shipping him off to Belmarsh Prison outside London.
Assange served a 12-month sentence there for jumping bail, but has been held in custody since completing the sentence to await extradition to the US.
Snowden, aged 39, fled to Hong Kong and then later Russia after leaking thousands of documents about the United States’ surveillance of its citizens. A much lesser known fact is that Snowden also levelled substantial allegations against the New Zealand government, claiming it had launched a massive operation to spy on its own citizens.
Two months ago, Snowden was finally granted Russian citizenship.
Donate To New Matilda
New Matilda is a small, independent media outlet. We survive through reader contributions, and never losing a lawsuit. If you got something from this article, giving something back helps us to continue speaking truth to power. Every little bit counts.