Elon Musk Asked To Testify By U.K. Parliament Over Twitter Acquisition

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The U.K. Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee asked billionaire Elon Musk for his testimony amid scrutiny of his plans to buy Twitter. Musk replied, in part: “I am honored and thank the Parliament for their invitation, but it would be premature at this time to accept, given that there has not yet been a shareholder vote” on the deal establishing his control of Twitter. The panel “said it’s interested in Musk’s plans, especially his intention to roll out verification for all users, which echoes its own recommendations to the U.K. government,” the Associated Press recaps.

The exact form some of Musk’s specific plans for Twitter may take remains to be seen. He’s pushed, for instance, for “all humans” to be authenticated on the platform, but he’s not yet in actual control of the platform, so for now, they’re just proposals. Musk has characterized himself as an advocate for free speech, although some of his public commentary — insinuating, for instance, that liberals have gone further into extremism than conservatives — reveals that he doesn’t exactly have a firm grasp of the relevant issues here. It’s not liberals who launched a seditious conspiracy targeting the U.S. government and attacked the Capitol.

That parliamentary committee asked for Musk’s testimony as U.K. legislators deliberate over a wide-ranging bill that includes “a requirement for the biggest platforms to give users the option to verify their identity and the choice not to interact with unverified users,” the Associated Press explains. “At a time when social media companies face the prospect of tighter regulations around the world, we’re keen to learn more about how Mr. Musk will balance his clear commitment to free speech with new obligations to protect Twitter’s users from online harms,” committee chair Julian Knight said regarding Musk.

U.S. Senators also expressed interest in hearing from Musk in the context of his plans to take over Twitter, although there are no specific plans for U.S. hearings involving him. Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) is among those pushing for Musk to testify, remarking: “It’s a technology which is central to democracy and our economy and it is important for the representatives of the American people to hear what the new owners intend on using that technology to accomplish… We have to understand the censorship or lack thereof, content moderation or not, that is going to be the policy for the new owner… In terms of what the values are that this company is going to be creating for the new Elon Musk Twitter world, I think that’s actually a necessary role for Congress to play.”

Musk’s looming takeover of Twitter has been popular among right-wingers like Fox host Tucker Carlson and Charlie Kirk, who appeared to imply recent returns to Twitter on their parts were connected to the Musk deal — although again, it’s not yet finalized, and he’s not in charge. As previously reported here, in reality, both Carlson and Kirk were suspended from Twitter as long as they left up posts in which they referred to a transgender woman serving in the Biden administration as a man. Twitter required them to delete the posts to return to the platform — and between that point and their recent returns to the site, nothing changed on Twitter’s side. Carlson and Kirk deleted the posts. But on a recent episode of Carlson’s show, an on-screen message read: “Unshackled by Elon Musk… Free speech is restored; @TuckerCarlson back on Twitter.” Kirk, meanwhile, wrote in a Twitter post: “Due to New Management, I’m back on Twitter.” Neither of the men’s returns to Twitter had anything to do with “new management.”