Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League.
Twitterthe board of directors should consider refusing by Elon Musk an offer for the social media company because of the damage its property could have on users’ civil rights, said Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League.
In a letter sent Monday to Twitter president Bret Taylor, Morial said Musk has “expressed troubling views” on content moderation and free speech that are contrary to the principles “of creating an online community that is safe for communities. marginalize and protect our democracy “.
Morial urged the Twitter board to consult with the civil rights community before making a decision on Musk’s offer and asked to meet with Taylor to further discuss his concerns.
“Without key protections and safeguards, it is likely that much of the troubling activity we see on Twitter, including white supremacist propaganda, racial and religious hatred, voter repression through election misinformation, algorithmic bias and discrimination, and the hardening of our national discourse, proliferate under Musk’s ownership, ”Morial wrote. “The potential to have a direct negative impact on millions of people and indirectly our nation’s culture and democracy are exponential and should be part of your analysis when reviewing this – or any other – offer to buy.”
Last week, Musk offered to buy Twitter for $ 54.20 per share, or about $ 43 billion. Friday, Twitter has adopted a limited-term shareholder rights planoften referred to as the “poisonous pill,” in an effort to repel a potential hostile takeover.
Musk, who is the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has accumulated a holding greater than 9%. on Twitter in recent weeks. Soon after his stock ownership went public, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal plans announced for Musk to join the board, but on the condition that Musk could buy no more than 14.9% of the company. Moss then reverse course and instead made an offer to make Twitter private.
“I invested in Twitter because I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech worldwide, and I believe that free speech is a social imperative for a functioning democracy,” Musk wrote in a letter sent to Taylor. and disclosed in a securities deposit. “However, since I made my investment, I now realize that the company will not thrive or serve this social imperative in its current form. Twitter must be transformed into a private company.”
Musk, known for attacking journalists and other critics of him and his company, has an unclear definition of free speech.
“A good sign to know if there is free speech is: Can someone you don’t like say something you don’t like? And if so, then we have free speech,” Musk said Thursday at the TED2022 conference in Vancouver. British Columbia.
Musk called himself a “free speech absolutist” and said he thinks Twitter’s algorithm should be public so users have more control over the tweets they see in their news feed. He acknowledged that there should be some moderation of content, such as around explicit calls for violence, and said: “Twitter should respect the laws of the country.”
Neither Twitter nor Musk immediately responded to a request for comment.