Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D.Massachusetts), warns that Elon Musk is attempting to buy Twitter for $44 billion.
In an interview with MSNBC on Thursday, Warren said that Musk’s offer to buy Twitter, which Twitter agreed to earlier this week, makes the case that the country needs to “make two big changes” to its tax code and regulation of Big Tech.
“The first one is we need a wealth tax in America. And let’s talk about how Elon’s purchase here was subsidized by tens of millions of people who’ve paid their taxes every year,” she said. “The second part is we need rules of the road for Big Tech.”
Indeed, the only reason that Musk has the funds — or the financial leverage — to buy Twitter is because he has been allowed to accumulate an Amazing wealthThe pandemic lasted for over a decade. He was worth just over half of his $44 million offer in March 2020. His wealth has increased by 1080% in two years, largely thanks to tax-free investments.
Warren went on to say that she believes the most alarming thing about Musk’s offer isn’t necessarily his right-wing politicsBut the implications around who can make decisions regarding a platform that millions of Americans use for communication. “Ultimately what all this boils down to is power. Who’s going to have the power in our country?” she asked.
“Are we going to make decisions as a democracy or is this going to be Elon Musk all by himself, off in a room, a bazillionaire, who just plays by his own set of rules? That’s really what’s at stake here,” she said, later adding that “it’s about one person making all of the decisions about how tens of millions of people will have an opportunity to communicate with each other.”
Although lawmakers have passed, some regulationsWarren stated that Big Tech has been trying to reinincorporate corporations. However, the industry still lacks a set regulations that could increase competition and allow more user freedom. She said that while phone calls can be made to anyone, regardless of their network, millions of Twitter and other social media users are limited to communicating with others on the same platform.
“We need rules so that you can leave the Twitter platform and go to a competitor’s platform and still be able to reach each other. You have rules like that, then you actually have some competition,” she said. “Rules of the road could help facilitate that kind of competition and frankly break the stranglehold of someone like Elon Musk coming in and just owning the whole thing.”
Warren stressed that buying Twitter is more about buying influence and power than if Musk were going to buy a soap company or a car company. Warren tweeted earlier this week, stating that even if this type of purchase can go through without any stopgaps, it is a sign that the country requires stronger regulations.
“One billionaire — whose estimated net worth has gotten about 10 times larger since the start of the pandemic — is about to have the power to decide how millions of people can communicate with each other,” she wrote. “It’s dangerous for our democracy to have so much power in so few hands.”
Social media and political experts have also sounded the alarm about Musk’s potential purchase, noting that there is already a long list of billionaires who own major communication-related entities, like Jeff Bezos’s ownership of The Washington PostFor example,
Musk claims to be a “free speech absolutist,” meaning in theoryUsers who encourage bigoted harassment, violence and other forms of discrimination will be allowed to continue using the platform. Even the news about his purchase appears. to have drivenThere are tens of thousands upon tens of thousands of far-right users on the platform. Unregulated internet forums are a breeding ground for fascists; Platforms like 4chan or 8chan, who pride themselves on having no content moderation and are known for their openness to all types of content, have been linked toMass murders and hate crimes.