- Senator Amy Klobuchar said she does not trust Elon Musk as the new owner of Twitter.
- He called for greater moderation of content on social media, where conspiracy theories are rampant.
- Musk has said he is a “free speech advocate” who wants Twitter to be a “digital town square.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar said Sunday that she does not trust Elon Musk as the new owner of Twitter, noting that the social media companies have benefited from misinformation, disinformation and political conspiracy campaigns.
The Minnesota Democrat called for greater moderation of content on social media sites while on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” Sunday morning, when host Chuck Todd asked if he trusted Musk.
“No, I don’t,” Klobuchar replied before chiding the social media companies for “making money” from amplifying “things that are a bunch of lies.”
Musk, a self-proclaimed “libertarian of free speech” who has said he wants Twitter to be a “digital town square,” has criticized content moderation in the past, Insider’s Travis Clark previously reported.
Musk he said Friday that the company plans to form a content oversight board, adding that “no major content decisions will be made” before then.
—Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) October 30, 2022
“Elon Musk has now said that he’s going to create a content oversight committee. That was a good sign. But I’m still concerned about it. I just don’t think people should be making money from broadcasting these things that are a load of lies,” Klobuchar said Sunday. “You couldn’t do that to your network, Chuck.”
Todd responded that NBC has “real rules.” News organizations are charged with fact-checking and verifying the information they share, a basic tenet of journalism.
“This is not a requirement of these companies. And we have to change the requirements for these companies. They are making money from us. They are making money from this violence,” Klobuchar said. “I think it’s one thing if someone posts things online and another when they make money promoting it.”
Klobuchar added that social media companies bear some responsibility for preventing political violence, citing the attack on Paul Pelosi on Friday. A 42-year-old man who broke into Pelosi’s San Francisco home looking for the House Speaker hit her husband with a hammer.
A Los Angeles Times report found that the suspect in the attack, David DePape, had previously spread far-right QAnon conspiracy theories, anti-Semitism and bigotry on social media.
“When you look at what this guy was looking at, he was looking at horrible things that you don’t even want to talk about on your show. He posted anti-Semitic tropes. It was showing memes showing violence and all these election-Denial rhetoric, pro-Trump, MAGA-crowds. That’s what we’re dealing with here,” Klobuchar said Sunday.
Klobuchar listed her four priorities after the attack, including prosecuting “this perpetrator who committed a violent, violent crime” and adding more security for elected officials.
“Number three is to make sure we don’t elect more election naysayers who are following Donald Trump down this road. And then number four, yes, once we understand some people who care about our democracy, we have to do something about it. amplifying this election-denying hate speech that we see online,” Klobuchar said.
He also said he would “reduce their Section 230 immunity” – a section of federal law that reduces liability for illegal things people say on social media platforms – to “allow people to go after them when they make aid money of electoral lies and hate speech”.