Elon Musk lays out his own politics on Election Day

Elon Musk lays out his own politics on Election Day

Elon Musk put himself and his politics in the spotlight on Twitter on Election Day.

The world’s richest man started his day on Tuesday by telling his 115 million Twitter followers that they should vote Republican in the midterm elections. He said he was not motivated by the criticism he faced from Democrats his purchase of Twitter for $44 billionwhich he completed last month, along with his other jobs.

“While it is true that I have been under unfair and misleading attack from leading Democrats for some time, my motivation is for a centrist administration that serves the interests of the majority of Americans,” Musk said.

His posts about politics and the midterms followed several tweets Monday, when Mr. Musk urged his followers to vote Republican because “shared government curbs the worst excesses of both parties.” His remarks immediately encouraged the right and criticized the left. Mr. Musk later added that he was an independent and was open to voting for Democrats in the future.

Mr. Musk has defied corporate convention throughout his career, but rarely has a CEO with such a powerful role in political discourse been so forthright about his views before an election. Many mainstream Internet companies have typically tried to project apolitical views. It’s impossible to say how many of Mr. Musk’s followers will take his advice.

Mr. Musk’s behavior raises more questions about how Twitter will balance its desire for the platform to be a center for unfettered free speech against the need to counter misinformation and hate. The social media service is under intense scrutiny this week for how it will fare in the fight against lies about voting, election results and more in the midterms. This is especially the case since then Mr Musk has laid off about half of Twitter’s workforceor about 3,700 people, on Friday, prompting critics to question how the site could operate effectively.

U report on Monday, researchers at Tufts University’s Fletcher School said the “quality of conversation has declined” on Twitter since Mr. Musk took over, as extremists and misinformation peddlers test the platform’s boundaries.

Some Twitter executives have tried to ease concerns about the platform in the medium term. Yoel Roth, the company’s head of trust and security, who helps oversee content moderation, tweeted last week that about 15 percent of his organization was laid off, compared to about 50 percent companywide.

“Our election integrity efforts — including harmful misinformation that can suppress voting and combating state-backed information operations — remain a top priority,” Mr. Roth wrote.

Mr. Musk has said several times that Twitter has not changed its content rules. He also said that he planned the formation of the council it would make decisions about content moderation.

“Twitter is the worst!” Mr Musk tweeted on Tuesday. “But also the best.”

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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