President Joe Biden criticized Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, saying the social media platform was responsible for spewing lies.
President Joe Biden criticized Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter Inc. and said the social media platform was responsible for spewing lies.
Biden brushed the remarks aside during a fundraising drive in Chicago on Friday night when he warned donors of the effect the November 8 midterm elections would have on years to come.
“What are we all worried about right now? Elon Musk goes out and buys an outfit that spreads and spits lies all over the world,” Biden said.
“There are no more editors,” Biden added. “There are no editors. How do we expect children to understand what is at stake?”
Musk, who describes himself as a champion of free speech, bought Twitter for $44 billion. He fired most of the top executives and boards of directors and quickly embarked on a plan to lay off about half of the company’s 7,500 employees.
Its plans to revamp content moderation have prompted advertisers including Pfizer Inc. and General Mills Inc., baffled, who say they will temporarily suspend ad spend on the platform to see how Musk plans to change Twitter.
Civil rights groups are also stepping up pressure on advertisers to ensure Musk takes steps to prevent the platform from hosting hate speech or misinformation.
Musk acknowledged Friday that fears of content moderation on Twitter had caused a “massive drop in revenue,” but said “nothing has changed with content moderation.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked Friday about the firings of content moderators.
“Look, the president has been outspoken about the importance of social media platforms continuing to take steps to reduce hate speech and misinformation,” Jean-Pierre told reporters on Air Force One. “That belief extends to Twitter. It extends to Facebook and all other social media platforms where users can spread misinformation.”