UK parliamentary committee asks Musk to testify on Twitter and free speech
A parliamentary committee in the United Kingdom asked Elon Musk to testify about his recent acquisition of Twitter.
The deal piqued the U.K.’s Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee’s interest, according to Deadline. A letter sent to Tesla’s Palo Alto headquarters asked the billionaire to appear to talk about how he “will balance his clear commitment to free speech with new obligations to protect Twitter’s users from online harms.”
“I know you have expressed your wish that critics remain on Twitter, and this may present an opportunity to address any critiques in public,” committee head Julian Knight wrote. “I look forward to hearing your response and discussing your plans for the future of Twitter in Committee in the near future.”
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The committee typically speaks with representatives of major broadcasters in the U.K. and other technology companies. While the committee has asked Musk to appear, he isn’t obligated to comply. The committee attempted to have Mark Zuckerberg appear in a 2018 joint hearing with Canada’s Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy, and Ethics to discuss fake news. The Facebook CEO declined.
It’s unclear if Musk intends to attend. Musk has had a tense relationship with regulators as a whole. The billionaire has been feuding with the Securities and Exchange Commission for years. He has also clashed with the Federal Aviation Administration in the past.
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Musk’s April 25 acquisition of Twitter has drawn significant attention from conservatives and liberals alike. While some organizations have advocated for the Federal Communications Commission to intervene in Musk’s purchase, at least one commissioner has stated that it has no intentions to do so.
Thierry Breton, the European Union’s commissioner for the internal market, gave Musk a “reality check” warning about the EU’s rules after his acquisition. “We welcome everyone. We are open but on our conditions. At least we know what to tell him: ‘Elon, there are rules. You are welcome, but these are our rules. It’s not your rules which will apply here,'” Breton told the Financial Times.