Elon Musk takes over Twitter: White House says concerned over 'power of large social media platforms'

Edited By: Moohita Kaur Garg
Washington, United States Updated: Apr 26, 2022, 06:01 PM(IST)

Officials in the Biden administration believe that more vigilance will help to avoid the spread of misleading information about political concerns and the COVID-19 epidemic. Photograph:( AFP )

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Dismissing that this concern had anything to do with Elon Musk, spokesperson Jen Psaki said the White House would not comment on an individual transaction

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has successfully purchased Twitter for $44 billion. The deal will give the world's richest person control of the social media platform populated by millions of users and global leaders.

Now that the Tesla CEO has purchased Twitter, the US government has expressed some concerns.

During a Monday press briefing, the White House said that US President Joe Biden was concerned about the power that large social media outlets hold.

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Dismissing that this concern had anything to do with the billionaire, spokesperson Jen Psaki said the White House would not comment on an individual transaction.

"Our concerns are not new," said Psaki.

"No matter who owns or runs Twitter, the President has long been concerned about the power of large social media platforms, that power they have over our everyday lives."

She added that Biden "has long argued that tech platforms must be held accountable for the harm they cause." 

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Just a few hours ago on Monday, Musk successfully clinched a deal to purchase micro-blogging site Twitter for $44 billion. 

His takeover of Twitter is the culmination of a whirlwind of announcements and counter-announcements, punctuated by gleefully fired punches at the company, that too on its own platform.

Musk's new character as a social media tyrant is sure to stoke a debate over his political leanings, corporate practices, and outsized personality.

Even as he touts himself as an advocate of free speech, he is known to be libertarian, anti-woke, and impulsive. His critics describe him as autocratic and bullying.

Also read | 'That is what free speech means': Elon Musk's appeal to 'worst critics' as he nears deal with Twitter

Officials in the Biden administration believe that more vigilance will help to avoid the spread of misleading information about political concerns and the COVID-19 epidemic.

According to Psaki, the White House continues to push for the repeal of Section 230, a rule that protects online corporations from liability for user-submitted content, as well as more anti-trust and transparency enforcement against digital giants.

"We engage regularly with all social media platforms about steps that can be taken," Psaki added. "That has continued, and I'm sure will continue, but there are also reforms that we think Congress could take."

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(With inputs from agencies)

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