For Immediate Release
October 27, 2022
Accountable Tech Co-Founder and Executive Director Nicole Gill released the following statement Thursday after it was announced that Elon Musk had officially acquired Twitter:
“Today is an ominous day. Elon Musk is an erratic billionaire who has promised to rollback critical safeguards, replatform users who have repeatedly incited violence, and provide a megaphone to extremists who traffic in disinformation – and he has just been given carte blanche control over one of the world’s most powerful communications platforms.
“It’s also difficult to overstate the national security threat that this deal poses. Musk is a Putin propagandist with a pattern of close ties to hostile foreign governments – many of whom have financial and strategic interests in the deal. Now that he owns Twitter, will Musk’s foreign investors have influence over the platform’s content moderation policies? Will they ensure he amplifies their propaganda and silences their critics? Will Musk – the same man that surveilled his employees’ private social media accounts at Tesla – give his dictator friends access to millions of Americans’ intimate user data? It is critical that our leaders get the answers to these questions – especially now that this deal has closed.
“That’s why Accountable Tech launched the Stop the Deal coalition earlier this year, and it’s why we continue to call on Congress to investigate this acquisition agreement. Our leaders must recognize this very real danger and take steps, as necessary, to protect our safety.
“This is a five-alarm fire for democracy and the information ecosystem. We must respond accordingly.”
Background on Accountable Tech’s work to stop Musk’s deal:
Shortly after Musk’s intention to buy Twitter was announced, Accountable Tech spearheaded a letter to top Twitter advertisers to pull their ads from the platform unless Musk committed to basic standards around content moderation and transparency.
In June 2022, Accountable Tech led a diverse coalition of 25 nonprofit advocacy organizations to launch Stop The Deal – a multifaceted campaign designed to prevent Elon Musk’s hostile takeover of Twitter, and stave off the myriad harms to our information ecosystem that would inevitably follow.
Earlier this month, Accountable Tech co-founders Nicole Gill and Jesse Lehrich published an op-ed in Tech Policy on the serious national security threat of a Musk-owned Twitter.
Accountable Tech also sent a letter to congressional leaders calling for an investigation into the national security implications of Musk’s ownership of the platform, and has been outspoken on this deal’s continued threat to American democracy.