Musk endorses Republicans as concerns grow over Twitter’s impact on the election

New Twitter CEO Elon Musk continued the rocky start to his new job, tweeting a day before Tuesday’s midterms as far-right extremism actively threatens American democracy, which he would like to see the Republicans take control of Congress.

The billionaire targeted independent voters in his tweet on Monday, arguing that Republican control of Congress will balance a Democrat in the White House. However, when this exact scenario existed under former President Barack Obama, it resulted in a painfully stalled agenda as Republicans blocked proposed legislation in Congress.

“To independent-minded voters: power sharing curbs the worst excesses of both parties, so I recommend voting for a Republican Congress, given that the presidency is a Democrat,” he tweeted.

“Hard-core Democrats or Republicans never vote for the other side, so independent voters are the ones who really decide who’s in charge!”

In May, the world’s richest man announced that he would stop voting for Democrats, as he had done before, and would instead vote for Republicans halfway through his term. He claimed the Democratic Party is too divisive – despite notable recent examples of Republicans spread misinformation, political violence and conspiracy theories.

Concerns are growing over the impact of Musk’s $44 billion takeover of Twitter and how it will affect midterms, which will determine control of Congress. During his first week on the job, the billionaire went rogue trying to drastically change the platform in a bid to cut costs and rebuild the company in line with his vision.

Musk began mass layoffs at the company on Friday and 3,700 workers lost their jobs before he allegedly asked to rehire dozens of them over the weekend. In the meantime, he’s been circulating memes, jokes, conspiracy theories and potential Twitter plans that he’s coming up with in real time.

The billionaire also made the move to offer verified accounts to all Twitter users for $8 a month, which he says will democratize the service instead of reserving the blue check for the elite. Verified accounts – which were previously free – were given to journalists and public figures to authenticate their identity against possible imposters.

Reserving verified accounts for public officials has allowed Twitter and its users to better sort out misinformation. If Musk needs verified users to pay to keep their blue checks, which could exacerbate the spread of conspiracy theories this election season. According to the New York Times, however, Musk does not plan to update Twitter’s verification policy ahead of the election.

Twitter’s chief security and integrity officer, Yoel Roth, tweeted on Friday that the company’s frontline content moderation staff were the group least affected by the mass layoffs. Yet many companies have suspended advertising on the platform over fears that Musk’s policy changes could encourage extremists to post racist, anti-Semitic and violent language and imagery.




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