We shouldn’t rely on the hopeful ‘benevolence of a billionaire’ to protect online speech

During Thursday’s broadcast of Fox Business Network’s “Mornings with Maria,” FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr responded to concerns about the activities of new Twitter owner and CEO Elon Musk in China by saying that we shouldn’t “trust the benevolence of hopefully a billionaire when it comes to a social media platform like this” and Congress implementing “pro- discourse to protect diversity of opinion” would reduce or completely address these concerns.

Batya Ungar-Sargon, Deputy Editor of Newsweek, asked, “My question is, Elon Musk… Owner and CEO of Twitter right now, he’s a man who is deeply connected to China, deeply connected to the Chinese Communist Party. Its entire supply chain is in China. All of Tesla’s batteries are created there. He built a showroom for Tesla in the Xinjiang region where the Uyghur genocide is taking place. So he is a man who is very, very inclined to bend the knee to China. I mean, isn’t there a concern – don’t the same concerns that apply to TikTok to some extent now apply to Twitter as well?

Carr replied, “Well, I think Elon Musk has drawn a pretty clear line that he’s going to be pro-freedom of speech, pro-diversity of opinion, but in your opinion there’s [are] a lot of people criticize him, whether it’s the points you made there or people who are concerned that he has too much control over the free flow of information on Twitter. And that’s why my position has been that we shouldn’t just rely on the benevolence of hopefully a billionaire when it comes to a social media platform like this that’s in makes way for the digital city. That’s why my position has always been that we need to step in, I think Congress needs to do that, with pro-speech safeguards to protect diversity of opinion on Twitter, on social media and I think that would mitigate or would fully address those types of concerns that are being raised. »

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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