German state television has compared the new owner of Twitter, Elon Musk, with Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, swapping the swastika on the Nazi flag for the social media platform’s famous bird logo during one of its reports.
ZDF, which has long been accused of left-wing bias and which all German households are forced to pay a fee to, has been sharply criticizing Musk since he took over the platform. The journalists behind ZDF are warning that facts and opinions they don’t agree with could be freely expressed on the platform, according to German newspaper Junge Freiheit.
The Nazi-like image was broadcast on the “Heute-Show.” The ZDF satire program also dyed Musk’s shirt brown in allusion to the Nazi brown shirts. Musk has promoted the idea of free speech on the platform, yet ZDF is likening him to the Nazi party, which greatly restricted free speech, and alluding that his takeover could herald a new National Socialist era.
To promote the TV report, the editorial team tweeted: “Thanks to Elon Musk, everyone is now allowed to say anything on Twitter again! Total freedom of speech!”
Under the image of Musk is the phrase “Do you want total tweeting?” The phrase is a reference to the Goebbels’ Sports Palace speech where the Nazi minister asked, “Do you want total war?”
Behind the picture of the 51-year-old billionaire, ZDF shows a march comparable to the Nazi rallies under the Third Reich. On the Nazi flags, the swastikas are replaced by the Twitter bird.
Musk recently called on U.S. voters to back Republican candidates in the midterm elections last week to “provide balance” to the Democrat-dominated White House. A co-founder of X.com (which later merged with Confinity and became PayPal), founder of aerospace company SpaceEx, and owner of Tesla describes himself as a “free speech absolutist.” He has offered former U.S. President Donald Trump, who was previously banned from Twitter, a return to the platform.