Sen. Warner Warns Elon Musk Against Twitter 'Backslide'

Sen. Mark Warner at an event in 2020.
(Image credit: Sen. Mark Warner via Flickr and a CC By 2.0 license)

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and a potential presidential candidate down the road if some in his party have their way, has advised Elon Musk not to back off the fight against disinformation.

Musk struck a deal to buy the social media giant with a promise of greater free speech, which some fear could mean less moderation of disinformation, misinformation or hate speech.

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In a statement on the deal, Warner, who has pushed social media to better protect users by, among other things, curbing disinformation, said Twitter has been leaning forward "to tackle false, deceptive and manipulated content." That included banning Donald Trump.

But Warner said Twitter still has room for improvement, and suggested Musk needs to continue leaning forward, rather than "backslide" from reforms to a place that is "harmful to Democracy and to the important discourse that takes place on Twitter across the world every day."

Also: Twitter Pushed to Adopt Political Ad Disclosures

Musk has argued that Twitter needs to allow more discourse, but the key will be the degree to which that conversation strays into the kind of speech Democrats, including Warner, argue is dangerous to the Republic and its citizens. ■

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.