Moscow has expressed doubts about the new owner of Twitter’s ability to bring ‘free speech’ to the platform
Billionaire entrepreneur and new owner of Twitter, Elon Musk should not bring the “freedom of speech” he had promised the platform, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, expressing doubts about whether a “complete palette” opinions could be presented on any western social media.
“Russia’s attitude towards this company is based on the actions of this company, on censorship, selective repressive actions against the company’s customers, on the distortion and manipulation of information”, Peskov said Thursday.
The question arises whether a full and free palette of different points of view is possible on Western social networks. We doubt it.
“Let’s see what happens under the new owner. Now, being a global company, we have already heard official voices from Europe saying that they will not allow absolute freedom there,” Peskov added, apparently referring to a warning issued by EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton to Musk.
The top EU official has warned the billionaire against being too lax on content moderation, suggesting the platform could face a continental ban if it fails to follow bloc rules . The EU recently passed the so-called “Digital Services Act,” a set of regulations designed to force social media platforms to police their content much more aggressively and cooperate more closely with regulators.
“We welcome everyone. We are open but on our terms. At least we know what to say to him: ‘Elon, there are rules. You are welcome, but these are our rules. Your rules won’t apply here.” Breton told the Financial Times.
Elon Musk bought the social media platform for a staggering $44 billion on Monday, proclaiming himself a “free speech absolutist” and pledging to return Twitter to its roots as “the free speech wing of the free speech party.”
“Free speech is the foundation of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital public square where issues vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk said in a statement announcing the purchase.
The contractor ended the rhetoric a day later, explaining that the platform would still abide by laws restricting certain content.
“By ‘freedom of expression’ I simply mean what is within the law. I am against censorship that goes far beyond the law,” he explained. “If people want less freedom of expression, they will ask the government to pass laws to that effect. Therefore, going beyond the law is against the will of the people.
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