- Musk is planning to lay off roughly half the company’s workers
- Civil rights groups are worried about rise in hate speech
By : Akayla Gardner
November 5, 2022 at 10:00 AM GMT+7
President Joe Biden criticized Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter Inc., saying the social media platform was responsible for spewing lies.
Biden made the remarks as an aside during a fundraiser in Chicago on Friday evening as he warned donors about the effect the Nov. 8 midterms would have on the coming years.
“Now what are we all worried about? Elon Musk goes out and buys an outfit that sends and spews lies all across the world,” Biden said.
“There’s no editors anymore,” Biden added. “There’s no editors. How do we expect kids to be able to understand what is at stake?”
Musk, who styles himself as a champion of free-speech, acquired Twitter for $44 billion. He has removed most top executives and the board, and quickly embarked on a plan to lay off roughly half the company’s 7,500 employees.
His plans to revamp its content moderation though have rattled advertisers, including Pfizer Inc. and General Mills Inc., who say they will temporarily pause ad spending on the platform to see how Musk intends to change Twitter.
Civil rights groups are also stepping up pressure on advertisers to ensure Musk takes steps to keep the platform from being a host to hate speech or disinformation.
Musk acknowledged Friday that fears over 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 layoffs 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 abourd Air Force One. “That belief extends to Twitter. It extends to Facebook and any other social media platforms where users can spread misinformation.”
— With assistance by Jordan Fabian