Elon Musk, who is poised to purchase Twitter, responded to an article about House Democrats’ push to tighten rules over what people can post on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media websites.
The world’s richest person on Wednesday responded to a 2021 post from longtime journalist Glenn Greenwald about Congressional Democrats’ efforts in pressuring tech giants to—in his words—”censor more” after former President Donald Trump and other high-profile accounts were suspended last January.
“Troubling,” Musk wrote in response Wednesday, without elaborating. It’s not clear why the Tesla CEO responded to Greenwald’s article nearly 18 months after it was published to Substack.
At the time, Greenwald noted that Democrat members of Congress summoned the CEOs of several Big Tech companies, including the heads of Twitter, Facebook, and Google, to question them about what content is allowed on their platforms.
The Democrat chairs of two subcommittees in February 2021 issued a joint statement, the article noted, that they’re attempting to find alleged “falsehoods about the COVID-19 vaccine” and “debunked claims of election fraud.”
“These online platforms have allowed misinformation to spread, intensifying national crises with real-life, grim consequences for public health and safety,” they said, adding, “This hearing will continue the Committee’s work of holding online platforms accountable for the growing rise of misinformation and disinformation.”
They continued to say that these companies have “failed to acknowledge the role they’ve played in fomenting and elevating blatantly false information to its online audiences,” according to the statement, “we must begin the work of changing incentives driving social media companies to allow and even promote misinformation and disinformation.”
But some tech CEOs previously noted that certain members of Congress alleged that threats to regulate social media firms under various regulatory and statutory threats may violate the Constitution.
“Using a combination of statutory inducements and regulatory threats, Congress has co-opted Silicon Valley to do through the back door what government cannot directly accomplish under the Constitution,” entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and Yale Law School’s constitutional scholar Jed Rubenfeldduo wrote in the Wall Street Journal.
About a month after Greenwald’s article, former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, and Google’s Sundar Pichai were called to testify in front of Congress again.
In April, Musk made a joint announcement with Twitter’s board to confirm that he would buy the social media company for $44 billion to take it private. Generally, such acquisitions can take months to complete.
Earlier this week, Musk criticized Twitter for suspending author and professor Jordan Peterson over a post that featured a link and read, “Remember when pride was a sin? And Ellen Page just had her breasts removed by a criminal physician.”
“They’re going way too far in squashing dissenting opinions,” Musk said in response to Peterson being banned.