Musk Endorses Republicans As Concerns Grow Over Twitter’s Impact On Elections

Twitter's new CEO tweeted before Election Day that he wants Republicans to take control of Congress, "given that the Presidency is Democratic."

New Twitter CEO Elon Musk continued the chaotic start to his new job, tweeting a day before the Tuesday midterms, as far-right extremism actively threatens American democracy, that he would like to see Republicans take control of Congress.

The billionaire targeted independent voters in his tweet Monday, arguing that Republican control of Congress will balance out a Democrat in the White House. However, when this exact scenario existed under former President Barack Obama, it resulted in a painfully stalled agenda as Republicans blocked proposed legislation in Congress.

“To independent-minded voters: Shared power curbs the worst excesses of both parties, therefore I recommend voting for a Republican Congress, given that the Presidency is Democratic,” he tweeted.

“Hardcore Democrats or Republicans never vote for the other side, so independent voters are the ones who actually decide who’s in charge!”

In May, the richest man in the world announced that he would stop voting for Democrats, as he had done previously, and instead vote Republican in the midterms. He claimed that the Democratic Party is too divisive — despite notable recent examples of Republicans spreading disinformation, political violence and conspiracy theories.

Concerns are growing over the impact of Musk’s $44 billion Twitter takeover and how it will affect the midterms, which will determine control of Congress. During his first week on the job, the billionaire went rogue trying to drastically change the platform in an effort to cut costs and rebuild the company in alignment with his vision.

Musk began mass layoffs at the company on Friday, and 3,700 workers lost their jobs before he allegedly asked to rehire dozens of them back over the weekend. He’s meanwhile circulated memes, jokes, conspiracy theories and potential plans for Twitter that he’s fleshing out in real time.

The billionaire also made the decision to offer verified accounts to all Twitter users for $8 a month, which he claims will democratize the service instead of reserving the blue check for the elite. Verified accounts — which were previously free — were given to journalists and public figures as a way to authenticate their identities in the face of potential imposters.

Reserving verified accounts for public officials allowed Twitter and its users to better sort through disinformation. If Musk requires verified users to pay to keep their blue checks, that could exacerbate the spread of conspiracy theories during this election season. According to The New York Times, however, Musk is not planning to update Twitter’s verification policy until after the elections.

Twitter’s head of safety and integrity, Yoel Roth, tweeted on Friday that the company’s front-line content moderation staff was the group least affected by the mass layoffs. Still, many companies have paused advertising on the platform out of concern that Musk’s policy changes will embolden extremists to post racist, antisemitic, violent language and imagery.

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