Elon Musk Refuses to Block Russian Propaganda on Starlink Because of Free Speech

Elon Musk says Starlink won't ban Russian media "unless at gunpoint" 6 photos
Photo: YouTube / SNL
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Elon Musk is refusing to take sides in the ongoing war in Ukraine, at least as far as coverage of what is happening there is concerned.
At the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Prime Minister reached out to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Twitter, asking for Starlink stations that would provide Internet connection to the country. Musk delivered, but he’s drawing the line at that.

As Russian troops advanced on Ukrainian territory, the military actions left most of the country without an Internet connection. Musk made sure that Ukraine got coverage and even issued “warnings” on how to use the Starlink connection to avoid detection or otherwise draw unnecessary attention to populated areas.

Since then, also on Twitter, Musk has made it clear where he stands: he is against the war in Ukraine but, at the same time, he feels sorry for the Russian people, because they did not want or ask for a war. But he won’t be blocking Russian media from Starlink, like other platforms have already done. Not unless somebody put a gun to his head.

“Starlink has been told by some governments (not Ukraine) to block Russian news sources. We will not do so unless at gunpoint,” Musk writes on Twitter. “Sorry to be a free speech absolutist.”

To a reader telling him that Russian media is war propaganda at this time, one that aims to paint a completely different picture of what is happening on the ground in Ukraine, Musk responded with “all news sources are partially propaganda, some more than others.” Not that his stance on the media is any secret.

Pressure to block Russian media comes after several big names have already done so: RT (Russia Today) and Sputnik, both state-owned media networks, have been banned on Facebook and Instagram, as well as on TikTok, and demonetized on YouTube. Obviously, Musk believes that both sides of the narrative should be broadcast without censorship or any other type of intervention.

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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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