White House frets over Musk-owned Twitter — Analysis
Billionaire Elon Musk’s acquisition of social media giant Twitter has the White House backing away from its embrace of such mega platforms. “No matter the owner or operator of Twitter, President Obama has been deeply concerned by the influence large social media platforms have on our lives.,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki stated during a press briefing on Monday after Musk officially bought Twitter for $44 billion.
Psaki insisted this sudden concern was unrelated to the Tesla tycoon’s latest purchase, claiming “Our concerns aren’t new” with regard to the social media monopolies. US President Joe Biden, she said, “Tech platforms are to be held responsible for all the damage they have caused, a position that has long been supported by many.”
A spokesperson for the White House stated that the administration would continue to press for repeal of Section 230 under the Communications Decency Act. The section gives platforms which host content from third parties immunity from liability for content submitted by users, in addition to antitrust and transparency enforcement of social media behemoths.
“Regular communication with social media platforms is a regular part of our conversations about possible actions,” Psaki claimed, adding that while she was “Certain [this]We will keep going,” there were “We also suggest reforms Congress might consider.”
Twitter, while there have been multiple antitrust investigations against Facebook and Amazon as well Google and Apple, has not been the focus of regulatory scrutiny. It has been a popular online residence of Donald Trump’s ex-President. He was forced to leave it in January 2021 after a riot at Capitol on January 6. Musk’s Twitter may give Trump his bully pulpit back, but he is still banned from all mainstream social media platforms.
Trump said on Monday that he would focus his attention on TRUTH Social. His own social media platform, which launched earlier in the year, is his main focus. He also stated that he will not be returning to Twitter, even Musk could reinstate his account. Trump has also been a vocal supporter of repealing Section 230, which would put him on the same page as the White House if Psaki’s statements reflect the administration’s genuine position.
However, the White House has in the past praised such monopolistic platforms, admitting government officials had personally flagged ‘misinformation’ related to Covid-19 on Facebook, even while calling on the platforms to do more to silence unauthorized viewpoints.
Co-founder of Twitter shares his view on Musk’s takeover
Musk has promised to make free speech central in his takeover of Twitter, and took the unusual step of calling for his “Worst critics” to stay on the platform, insisting this is “What does free speech mean?.”
Although some users were furious at his acquisition, Twitter shares rose 6% upon the news of its acquisition.
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