Elizabeth Warren wants ‘rules of the road’ for big tech


Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren says “unregulated” tech platforms need rules as part of Elon Musk’s deal to take over Twitter.

The Tesla CEO earlier this week – pending regulatory approval – bought Twitter for $44 billion. Warren said the deal was dangerous for American democracy and is now calling for new rules to govern social media platforms.

On Wednesday’s episode of MSNBC Rhythm with Ari Melber the senator said “we need rules of conduct” for social media and added that big decisions for platforms used by millions of people should be made democratically, not by billionaires.

Senator Elizabeth Warren said on a recent MSNBC show that she wants “rules of the road” in place for Big Tech companies going forward. Above, Warren speaks during a Senate committee hearing in Washington, DC, on April 26, 2022.
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“Tech platforms have created something different, and right now it’s just unregulated,” Warren said. “That’s just where Elon Musk makes the rules, and that’s why we need to step in and say, ‘Platforms like this need rules of conduct when it comes to communication,’ and for there compete with other platforms.”

Warren has previously warned of the power of Big Tech companies and following Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, the senator said two big changes needed to happen for social media to be regulated.

“I see we need to make two big changes,” Warren said. “The first is that we need a wealth tax in America. And let’s talk about how Elon’s purchase here was subsidized by tens of millions of people who paid their taxes every year.”

Warren took a swipe at Musk by referencing his previous claims that the billionaire doesn’t pay taxes. She claimed that Musk and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos were avoiding the system by using stocks to show they had no official income to tax. Musk denied the charge saying he paid $11 billion in taxes in 2021 after trading Tesla shares.

The second change that Warren wants to see happen is to regulate the control of technology companies. Warren believes that decisions about widely used tech sites should be made democratically.

“The second part is that we need rules of conduct for Big Tech. But at the end of the day, it all comes down to power,” she added. “Who will have power in our country?

Warren says if only Musk has power on Twitter, his decisions will affect millions of users.

“Are we going to make these decisions as a democracy, or will it be Elon Musk all alone – in a room, a bazillionaire – just playing by his own rules? That’s really what’s at stake here.”

Warren added that big platforms like Twitter don’t have much competition. She mentioned that people cannot interact with Twitter users unless they have a Twitter account.

She argued that people should be able to access a competitor’s website while being able to reach another person.

Newsweek contacted Musk and Warren for comment.


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