What an Elon Musk-owned Twitter could mean for Ukrainian freedom and democracy


Solely then did Musk deny chatting with Putin, since a dialog a 12 months and a half in the past about area points.


Bremmer, a Time journal columnist and writer as a effectively as head of the Eurasia Group consultancy, stood by his account, tweeting that “Elon Musk informed me he had spoken with Putin and the Kremlin immediately about Ukraine. He additionally informed me what the Kremlin’s purple traces have been.”

4 days prior, Musk mentioned in a Twitter dialog that he was in contact with “fairly a number of” events within the warfare.

The argument over whether or not Bremmer was mistaken, Musk had been exaggerating, or Musk was backtracking from the reality didn’t obscure two deeper factors Bremmer made in his e-newsletter:

First, given opposition to aiding Ukraine amongst some Republicans, Musk’s Twitter takeover and the possible reinstatement there of former president Donald Trump and a few of his allies would unfold opposition additional and divide the nation, threatening Ukraine’s backup.

Second, Musk’s acquisition would pit his new, free-speech enterprise in opposition to his outdated companies – SpaceX, which depends on the Pentagon and NASA, and Tesla, which depends on China for scarce bodily sources.

“Every of those three are large bets on utterly totally different futures for a technopolar world. They’re additionally essentially the most geopolitically opposed enterprise fashions I’ve ever seen a single particular person pursue. Or possibly it’s the world’s largest hedge,” Bremmer wrote.

Bret Schafer, a senior fellow on the German Marshall Fund’s Alliance for Securing Democracy, mentioned Musk’s communications with Chinese language and Russian officers and enterprise pursuits overseas will create unprecedented dilemmas if he closes his deal to purchase Twitter.

“Most homeowners of those platforms have needed to stay impartial on points associated to politics and geopolitics,” Schafer mentioned. “His freewheeling type of speaking with authoritarians is actually going to create challenges with how the platform is perceived.”

Although Musk has mentioned he’ll rid Twitter of automated bots, Schafer mentioned there was little readability round how Musk would reply to different forms of overseas affect operations. He mentioned it’s unclear how Musk would deal with a Russian hack and leak operation, resembling occurred within the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, or whether or not Chinese language authorities officers ought to be allowed to hitch the platform that residents can’t entry.

In recent times, main social media firms “have taken a stand on the facet of democracy over autocracy,” Schafer mentioned. “It will likely be fascinating to see what path that shifts in if and when Musk takes over.”

What worries many about Twitter is that the lion’s share of Musk’s wealth is his stake in Tesla, in order that in any battle amongst world views, the platform can be most certainly to endure.

Tesla had report gross sales of its autos in China in September, whilst its competitors with native electrical automobile makers intensifies.

After Musk’s Ukraine tweet every week in the past, a commentator for the Chinese language Communist Get together’s International Occasions cited it and wrote to a half-million Twitter followers that Musk “believes an excessive amount of within the US and West’s ‘freedom of speech.’ He will likely be taught a lesson.”

Inside days, Musk opined in a Monetary Occasions interview that Taiwan ought to be ruled like Hong Kong, profitable reward from China’s ambassador to Washington: “I wish to thank @elonmusk for his name for peace throughout the Taiwan Strait and his thought about establishing a particular administrative zone for Taiwan.”

Barrett and others mentioned that they weren’t afraid of Musk bringing Twitter to China and again into Russia, saying that might assist residents talk extra.

As a substitute, they fret {that a} Twitter with out a lot moderation would enable propagandists for these governments to wreak extra havoc than they already do.

“Elon Musk is entitled to his opinions and speech, however let’s simply say Freedom Home would welcome the chance to temporary him extra completely on the egregious human rights violations in Russia, China and elsewhere on this planet earlier than he takes possession of one of many largest tech platforms,” mentioned Michael Abramowitz, president of nonprofit Freedom Home, which tracks rights globally.

“Ukrainians are preventing to guard their basic freedoms. Taiwan is a democracy the place folks get pleasure from these freedoms on daily basis, and so they know the menace they’re going through from the PRC. We imagine that each one democracies and democracy-supporting companies ought to help and defend these freedoms globally.”

Accountable Tech, a left-leaning group that has advocated for regulation of tech giants, despatched a letter final week to congressional leaders that known as for an investigation into Musk’s relationships with overseas actors. The letter says Congress ought to use its subpoena powers to find out whether or not Musk is in communication with senior officers on the Kremlin or in China “who might use this acquisition to undermine American nationwide safety pursuits.”

“It’s vital that Congress instantly examine the nationwide safety implications of this acquisition and take steps, as mandatory, to guard American democracy and independence,” the group’s leaders, Nicole Gill and Jesse Lehrich, wrote.

Washington Submit

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