FORMER US lawmaker Robert Reich has criticized Elon Musk for his views on freedom of expression online.
Former US Secretary of Labor Robert Reich published a scathing opinion on Elon Musk for The Guardian on Tuesday, continuing his years-long feud with the Tesla CEO.
In the statement, titled Elon Musk’s vision for the internet is dangerous nonsense, Reich claims that the world’s richest man advocates an “uncontrolled” internet.
Reich argues that this way of thinking is represented by “every dictator, strongman and demagogue”.
The Berkely professor specifically named former US President Donald Trump as a spreader of misinformation that social media platforms like Twitter banned.
“At least the US has responded to Trump’s lies. Trump had 88 million Twitter followers before Twitter took him off its platform just two days after the attack on the Capitol, which his tweets partially provoked,” Reich wrote.
“These steps were necessary to protect American democracy. But Elon Musk — the richest man in the world with 80 million Twitter followers — wasn’t pleased,” he continued.
Reich pointed to a tweet in which Musk claimed US tech companies shouldn’t act “as the de facto arbiters of free speech.”
The former lawmaker then shared an anecdote detailing how Musk blocked him on Twitter after criticizing him.
“Seems like an odd move for someone who describes himself as a ‘free speech absolutist,'” writes Reich.
“Musk advocates freedom of speech, but really it’s all about power.”
Most recently, Musk bought $2.64 billion worth of Twitter stock, becoming the largest single shareholder.
Originally, SpaceX’s CEO was supposed to join Twitter’s board of directors, but that’s no longer the case.
“Musk would not have invested $2.64 billion for nothing. When he’s not on Twitter’s board of directors, he’s not bound by a ‘standstill’ agreement under which he has committed not to buy more than 14.9% of Twitter stock,” Reich said.
The billionaire “now has no limit on how much Twitter stock he can buy. He will buy as much as he needs to gain total control,” he added.
“Musk has long held a libertarian vision of an ‘uncontrolled’ internet. This vision is dangerous nonsense. There is no such animal and there never will be,” Reich claimed.
The feud between Reich and Musk can be traced back to September 2020, when the former lawmaker accused the billionaire of being a “modern-day robber baron” for cutting workers’ wages during the pandemic.
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https://www.the-sun.com/tech/5107672/elon-musk-dangerous-us-lawmaker/ Elon Musk has slammed the former US lawmaker’s vision for the internet as “dangerous nonsense”.