Though it is much too early to foretell the impact that Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter will actually have, the left is certainly indicating that they’ve had their legs cut out from under them as they attempt to cover for their misdeeds by absconding with long held conservative positions on social media.
During Monday’s White House press briefing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked numerous times to provide President Joe Biden’s position on Musk’s purchase of Twitter, specifically with how it relates to the transmission of information to the public. ABC News’ chief White House correspondent Cecilia Vega was first to inquire and made sure to frame the question around liberals’ favorite boogeyman, former President Donald Trump.
“Do you have a response to [Musk’s purchase]?” Vega asked. “And does the White House have any concerns that this new agreement might have President Trump back on the platform?”
“Well, I’m not going to comment on a specific transaction,” Psaki began. “What I can tell you as a general matter: No matter who owns or runs Twitter, the president has long been concerned about the power of large social media platforms, what they ha- the power they have over our everyday lives; has long argued that tech platforms must be held accountable for the harms they cause. He has been a strong supporter of fundamental reforms to achieve that goal, including reforms to Section 230, enacting antitrust reforms, require more transparency, and more. And he’s encouraged that there’s bipartisan interest in Congress.”
“In terms of what hypothetical policies might happen, I’m just not going to speak to that at this point in time,” she added without mention of Trump, his opposition to Section 230 protections of social media companies, or whether Biden’s supposed reform support would be in alignment with his predecessor who has remained banned from the platform.
Psaki on Musk buying Twitter: “[O]ur concerns are not new. We’ve long talked about and the President has long talked about his concerns about the power of social platforms, including Twitter…to spread misinformation, disinformation, the need for [them] to be held accountable.” pic.twitter.com/clfzPEWcWA
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) April 25, 2022
When asked again about concerns over “the kind of purveyors of election misinformation, disinformation, health falsehoods, sort of, having more of an opportunity to speak” on Twitter as it goes private as compared to its status as a publicly-traded company, “where there’s already a lot of concentration of power,” Psaki claimed Biden has always had concerns.
“We’ve long talked about and the president has long talked about his concerns about the power of social media platforms,” she stated, “including Twitter and others, to spread misinformation, disinformation; the need for these platforms to be held accountable…And at this point, we don’t have any sense of what the policies will look like.”
However, these concerns appeared non-existent in the days leading up to the 2020 presidential election when Twitter had locked the account of the New York Post after it published its exposé on Hunter Biden’s laptop and temporarily suspended any account that attempted to link to the story. Polls have indicated that a significant number of voters would not have cast a ballot for Biden in 2020 had they known of the Post story at the time, but only now despite Psaki’s claim to the contrary, does the left appear concerned about these kinds of impacts.
“You own all of Twitter, or Facebook or what have you, you don’t have to explain yourself. You don’t even have to be transparent. You could secretly ban one party’s candidate or all of its candidates, all of its nominees,” MSNBC’s Ari Melber said during a segment of “The Beat.”
“Or you could just secretly turn down the reach of their stuff and turn up the reach of something else and the rest of us might not even find out about it til after the election. Elon Musk says this is all to help people because he is just a free speech, philosophically clear, open-minded helper,” he added.
When asked again with specific correlation to discussions of COVID and public health, Psaki reiterated her previous remarks on reforms (now that there may be a negative impact to the midterms,) and concluded on the matter by stating, “And the president is encouraged by the bipartisan support for – or engagement in those efforts.”
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