Amid discussion that former President Donald Trump may return to Twitter as part of his 2024 campaign for the presidency, Twitter owner Elon Musk is worried that the ripple effects could seriously rock Twitter’s boat.
Recently, an anonymous Republican source close to Trump told NBC News that Trump’s return to Twitter is likely imminent. The report said Trump is seeking to return to Facebook as well. Both social media platforms banned Trump after the Capitol incursion in 2021.
Musk referenced the speculation in a tweet on Wednesday.
Will be interesting to see how the Biden administration reacts to this.
They may try to weaponize Federal agencies against Twitter.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 18, 2023
“Will be interesting to see how the Biden administration reacts to this. They may try to weaponize Federal agencies against Twitter,” Musk wrote. He did not provide specifics.
However, in multiple releases dubbed the “Twitter Files,” journalists given access to inside Twitter documents have shown a pattern of government efforts to use its clout to influence what was posted on the social media platform. One commentator said that could happen again.
“In all, the ‘Twitter Files’ paint a picture of a wide-ranging federal effort to exert control over the editorial policies of a major media company. The feds might be doing the same at other social media companies, such as Facebook and YouTube. And since the U.S. government has the power to make things very unpleasant for companies that resist, the temptation to comply may prove irresistible,” Hiawatha Bray wrote for the Boston Globe.
“It’s all in the name of protecting us from fake news. But when our political leaders set the terms of permissible debate, how will we protect ourselves from them?” Bray continued.
Musk restored Trump’s Twitter account on Nov. 19, but at the time, Trump said he would continue using his Truth Social platform and had no immediate plan to begin tweeting again.
However, on Wednesday, Trump representative Liz Harrington hinted that a return could be in the cards, according to the Epoch Times.
Speaking on the NTD-Epoch Times show “Newsmakers” she hedged a bit at first.
“We’ll have to see what happens,” she said. “I’m not here to make any announcement as of yet.”
She then gave a plug for Truth Social while noting that Twitter could have a use.
“We do know that Truth Social is doing incredibly well. There’s no shadow banning, there’s no censorship, there’s really hardly any bots on the platform. It’s a great platform for free speech. But we will see if [Trump is] going to return to Twitter and use it as an asset for the campaign,” she said.
“I think the more platforms, the better, the more open and free they are, and it is important to reach masses of audiences. Nobody has done it better than President Trump than the way he’s skillfully used not just Twitter but now launching Truth Social, which has been really such a success and important platform to have more voices involved, so that will continue,” she said.
As for possible threats against Twitter, Harrington said the “Twitter Files” revealed that the First Amendment “has been under attack.”
“That’s something that’s so unacceptable. I think the more speech, the better,” she said.
She said Trump will fight censorship.
“President Trump has already laid out his plan to curb the censorship regime — which is exactly what it is — and he’s going to be continuing to make steps to end that as well. We can’t have First Amendment if half the country is not able to speak freely,” Harrington said.
“It’s even more so than that, it’s not even a right or left issue. It’s an issue with all types of censorship on all type of viewpoints that are deemed ‘inappropriate’ by the censorship regime. That is very unhealthy for the Constitutional Republic. It violates our constitutional rights,” she said.
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