In the wake of Elon Musk’s overhauling of Twitter’s content-moderation policies, Democratic lawmakers are warning Facebook against drawing inspiration from his embrace of free speech.
In a December 14 letter addressed to Meta’s president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, Democratic representatives Adam Schiff, André Carson, and Kathy Castor, and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse warned the company not to “alter or rollback certain misinformation policies.”
The four lawmakers argued that Facebook should ramp up its content moderation, specifically on information relating to elections.
“After each election cycle, social media platforms like Meta often alter or rollback certain misinformation policies, because they are temporary and specific to the election season. Doing so in this current environment, in which election disinformation continuously erodes trust in the integrity of the voting process, would be a tragic mistake,” the lawmakers wrote.
“Unlike other major social media platforms, Meta’s policies do not prohibit posts that make unsubstantiated claims about voter fraud,” they added.
The legislators said the word of caution was part of its “ongoing oversight efforts.”
Schiff, one of the authors of the statement, peddled the conspiracy that the New York Post‘s Hunter Biden laptop bombshell was Russian misinformation. The veracity of much of the laptop’s contents has since been authenticated by the New York Times and Washington Post.
Although not a signee, progressive senator Elizabeth Warren has grilled Musk about the ethics of his acquisition of Twitter.
“Every board of directors of a company with multiple shareholders — especially publicly traded companies — is responsible for ensuring that a controlling shareholder (especially one who is also a chief executive officer, or CEO) does not treat the company as a private plaything,” Warren wrote in a letter to Robyn Denholm, Tesla’s chairwoman, Sunday night.
Warren also questioned whether an increase in misinformation and hate speech on Twitter under Musk’s new policies could jeopardize Tesla’s financial position and its shareholders.
Other Democratic politicians and media outlets have been unhappy with Musk’s loosening of content restrictions on Twitter. Last week, the new CEO banned a number of left-wing journalists from the platform on the grounds that they were involved in a doxxing attempt on him and his family.