Elon Musk’s $44 billion Twitter acquisition hasn’t even been finalized yet, but UK’s MPs are already inviting him to discuss the changes he wants to implement for the website. The UK House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Select Committee MPs told Musk in a letter (PDF) that they’re particularly interested in hearing about his intention to roll out verification for all users. They said it echoes their calls on the government as part of a proposed legislation.
Committee Chairperson Julian Knight also wrote:
“Our 2020 Report on Misinformation in the Covid ‘Infodemic’ called for greater transparency of bots and automated and spam accounts, whilst our recent Report on the UK’s Online Safety Bill discussed ways to balance civil liberties like freedom of expression with the need to tackle pernicious, pervasive online child sexual exploitation and abuse.”
That suggests that the MPs are looking to discuss the balance between freedom of speech and censorship on the platform and how Musk plans to tackle it. The multi-company exec previously described himself as a “free-speech absolutist,” and it remains to be see if and how that will change Twitter’s moderation practices.
Twitter under Musk might start charging users to embed tweets from verified accounts, according to a report from Reuters. He also reportedly suggested changes to Twitter Blue, the website’s subscription service, to make it more appealing to paying users. In addition, he reportedly floated the idea of job cuts in talks with banks to secure financing for his buyout. More recently, he tweeted that the website will remain free for casual users, but that it might start charging commercial entities and government agencies.
Twitter will always be free for casual users, but maybe a slight cost for commercial/government users
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 3, 2022
The MPs letter is only an invitation, however, and Musk isn’t legally required to attend. Their committee has a history of summoning CEOs that don’t show up, but that hasn’t stopped them from trying to get execs to talk. Meta chief Mark Zuckerberg, for instance, previously refused their requests and only sent a representative to appear before the committee.
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