Musk’s plan to buy Twitter has policymakers around the world worried.
Joe Skipper | Reuters
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been asked to testify before the UK parliament about his deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion.
Julian Knight, who chairs the House’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, sent Musk a letter asking him to appear before lawmakers to discuss the proposal “in greater depth”.
“At a time when social media companies face the prospect of tougher regulations around the world, we want to hear more about how Mr. Musk will balance his clear commitment to free speech with new obligations to protect Twitter users from online harm,” Knight said. said in a statement Wednesday.
A Tesla representative was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.
Musk’s plan to buy Twitter has policymakers around the world worried, fearing the world’s richest man will loosen restrictions on what users can say or share on the social media platform.
In the UK, the government is keen to push through new laws that would impose a duty of care on online platforms to tackle harmful and illegal content.
Known as the Online Safety Bill, the legislation would allow media watchdog Ofcom to impose fines of up to 10% of a company’s annual global turnover for breaches. Tech executives also risk jail time for repeated refusal to cooperate with regulators.
The European Union’s new Digital Services Act, meanwhile, would force Big Tech platforms to more quickly extract illegal content and products from their services. Last week, EU officials warned Musk that he will have to play by the rules if he wants to take over Twitter.
This is not the first time a billionaire tech boss has been asked to appear before Britain’s Parliament. In 2018, lawmakers summoned Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to attend a hearing on Cambridge Analytica’s misinformation and data privacy scandal, a request he refused.