At a campaign stop in Dayton, Ohio on Monday, Republican Senate candidate JD Vance and former first son Donald Trump, Jr. said that billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk’s recent acquisition of Twitter isn’t a silver bullet for Big Tech’s problems with free speech.
“Well, I think it’s a great thing that Elon’s buying Twitter, because it is not a free speech platform, but it’s sort of the most important for media and politics in the country,” Vance said, according to The Washington Post. “So, I think it’s good for Twitter that Elon’s buying it. But, at the end of the day, the Big Tech problem – Twitter’s a very small part of it.”
“You’ve still got Facebook, you still got Google, so you still need a policy response to Big Tech unless Elon’s going to buy all three or four,” he added. “And I don’t think he has enough money to do that.”
Musk’s Twitter takeover was cemented roughly two weeks after he first revealed a 9% stake in the social media platform. The Tesla CEO said last week that he had secured $46.5 billion in financing to buy the platform, putting pressure on the company’s board to negotiate a deal.
After initially resisting the transaction, Twitter said the deal was unanimously approved by its board of directors. The 11-member board includes Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey, who was planning to step down in May.
“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk said in a joint statement with Twitter.
Twitter said the deal is expected to close sometime this year and is subject to the approval of Twitter stockholders and regulators.
Agreeing with Vance, Trump Jr. said that he hopes Musk is “able to make some changes,” but that it likely won’t be a simple fix.
“I mean, there’s tens of thousands of people that work there, that are all indoctrinated into that leftist thinking,” he said. “So, you can’t just say, ‘Hey, we’re going to change things.’ You’ve got to get everyone else to comply.”
Trump Jr. also said that Facebook holds more sway with the average American than Twitter does.
“I think JD is 100% right in the sense that Facebook is a much bigger problem in terms of the monetary side, where it actually reaches,” he said. “You know, Twitter, it feels like the biggest thing to people in politics, because they’re on there and they’re in their echo chambers. But, for the average American, it’s by far probably the least important platform that there is out there.”
Vance, 37, was endorsed by former President Donald Trump on April 15 as the GOP Senate candidate to replace Sen. Rob Portman, even after Vance’s previous history of denouncing Trump’s behavior while serving in office.
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