Moderating a Reddit channel is hard. Moderating a massive, social, user-generated content site like Twitter? Sisyphus would take one look and go back to his boulder.
This assumes you approach moderation with a legal-rational mindset — one that aims for — and is judged by its ability to deliver — a fair and consistent application of publicly legible rules concerning, on the one hand, acceptable behavior and, on the other hand, the penalties for transgressing those rules.
This was the old approach at Twitter. It failed a lot of the time. On a site as massive as Twitter, even a near-perfect record of content moderation will produce, in absolute terms, a substantial number of mistakes. Since “content moderation” is another way of saying “enforcing community standards” or “mandating values,” “bias” isn’t a matter of ideological tilt, but of equal application of the rules. When it comes to balancing freedom of expression against “trust and safety” on Twitter, true success on legal-rational terms is impossible. It’s about doing “better” rather than “worse.”
So what about Elon Musk? He’s managed to cut Twitter’s own Gordian Knot. Rather than try to make impartial moderation work, he has simply dispensed with legal-rational principles altogether. Twitter is Musk’s personal patrimony, and that’s exactly how he’s treating it.