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Musk’s Twitter: ‘This is exactly what many of us were worried about’

Musk’s Twitter: ‘This is exactly what many of us were worried about’

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), who chairs the House Energy and Commerce panel on consumer protection, said she is concerned that Twitter will become “a platform that is a conduit for hateful and harmful content” and that she plans to leave if Musk allows it to become more than a The wild west.

The immediate upset comes from a false story about a brutal attack on Paul Pelosi, the husband of the Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, which Musk personally tweeted over the weekend. Musk has now deleted the tweet, but the story continues ricochet around the conservative political world.

More broadly, political players worry that Musk’s promises to bring Twitter’s policies closer to his own ideas about politics and society, as well as the firing of its top executives, will permanently change the platform they’ve relied on to police misinformation and hate speech.

Musk has left no doubt who is in charge of the company since taking over Twitter on Thursday night. He renamed himself “Chief Twit” in his official bio and said Securities Commission that he dissolved the board and declared himself the sole director.

Musk himself confirmed concerns about Twitter’s future directly last week when he assured advertisers that Twitter would not become a “hellscape” and would be “warm and welcoming to all.” He also promised to establish a “content moderation council” that would likely set standards for policing the site.

Late Saturday, Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of security and integrity, tweeted that the company’s content moderation policy “has not changed.” Musk himself pointed to Roth’s tweet to assuage concerns raised by the NBA star LeBron Jamesafter a 500% increase report. of racial slurs on the platform 12 hours after Musk’s takeover.

And when a user suggested that Roth should be fired, Musk tweeted it: “We’ve all made some questionable tweets, me more than most, but I want to be clear that I support Yoel. I think he has high integrity and we all have a right to our political beliefs.”

For now, it is not clear what the hapless Democrats will do. Even his critics are still on the platform – “It’s really hard to draw a line. Collectively, people in the public eye will know when it’s time to pick up shop and leave,” Jablonowski said. Some vow to stay only to prevent misinformation and trolls from taking over.

Republicans long frustrated by what they see as Twitter’s overly liberal moderation policies have launched rival platforms in recent years — most notably Donald Trump’s Parler, Gettr and Truth Social — though none have become the kind of public square that Twitter has.

Neera Tanden, a former adviser to Hillary Clinton who now serves as White House staff secretary, tweeted on Sunday from her personal account a request for alternative platformsspawning a handful of proposals for social media websites outside of Musk’s orbit, with no apparent consensus and none approaching Twitter’s user base.

Some rejection

In the absence of a concerted democratic effort, there were few obvious shots at Musk.

With just eight days until the midterm elections, Musk is likely not on the top of mind for most lawmakers, especially Democrats who are campaigning to avoid losing control of both houses of Congress.

But on Monday morning, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) tweeted that he was looking investigation of Musk’s Twitter investors, particularly Saudi involvement. While his request appeared to be based on a Bloomberg report that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States was examining the deal, that report was a week old, and his tweet first came Monday morning after Musk’s weekend Pelosi tweet. (Murphy’s office declined to comment on the timing of the letter.)

Regulators in Europe have also taken note of potential changes to Musk-era Twitter and warned the company that it must comply with EU rules on content moderation, with Musk reportedly responded to their concerns.

Advocacy groups remain alarmed at what they see as Musk’s indifference to the consequences of what he puts on the platform. Bridget Todd, director of communications for the gender equality group UltraViolet, saw Musk’s weekend on Twitter as “very serious. I think we’re past the point where this is a business story about buying a company — it has very real world implications that we saw on January 6, that we saw with the attack on Pelosi.”

Yael Eisenstat, vice president of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center for Technology and Society, raised a similar alarm, but said it was unclear where advocates would go instead of Twitter. “The reality is there’s still not an incredibly competitive landscape,” Eisenstat said.

Brendan Bordelon and Mohar Chatterjee contributed to this report.





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