Elon Musk called for an investigation into left-wing organizations that are pressuring companies to boycott Twitter if Musk changes the social media firm’s content moderation policies, coming about a week after it was announced he would purchase the platform.
It comes as about two dozen left-wing groups reportedly sent letters (pdf) to Coca-Cola, Kraft, and Disney to boycott Twitter after Musk’s purchase. Those groups include Black Lives Matter Network Foundation, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Women’s March, Media Matters for America, and GLAAD.
The group jointly wrote that “as top advertisers on Twitter, your brand risks association with a platform amplifying hate, extremism, health misinformation, and conspiracy theorists,” according to the letter. “Under Musk’s management, Twitter risks becoming a cesspool of misinformation, with your brand attached, polluting our information ecosystem in a time where trust in institutions and news media is already at an all-time low.”
But in response, Musk called for an investigation into those groups.
“Who funds these organizations that want to control your access to information? Let’s investigate …” Musk wrote on Twitter. “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”
Last week, the Tesla CEO wrote that attacks against his character were “coming thick and fast” but mostly “from the left, which is no surprise.”
“However I should be clear that the right will probably be a little unhappy too,” Musk continued. “My goal is to maximize area under the curve of total human happiness, which means the ~80% of people in the middle.”
Late last month, both Musk and Twitter announced that he would purchase the company for $44 billion before taking it private. Previously, Musk has criticized the company’s content moderation practices and likened them to censorship, indicating he may change some of the policies.
The deal, which could take months to finish, has not been completed yet. Twitter’s top corporate management, including CEO Parag Agrawal, is still in charge of the firm.
“I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy,” Musk later said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. “However, since making my investment I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company.”
Meanwhile, Musk wrote Tuesday that might charge corporate or government accounts a small fee.
“Twitter will always be free for casual users, but maybe a slight cost for commercial/government users,” he wrote.