The National Urban League president, Marc Morial, says Twitter’s board should reject Elon Musk’s bid for the social media company due to potential civil rights violations.
The ideas of creating an online community that is safe for marginalised people and supports our democracy, Morial wrote to Twitter Chairman Bret Taylor on Monday.
Morial wanted to meet with Taylor to discuss his concerns and urged Twitter’s board to talk with the civil rights community before accepting Musk’s offer.
“White supremacist propaganda, racial and religious hatred, voter suppression through election disinformation, algorithmic prejudice and discrimination, and the hardening of our national discourse” are expected to increase under Musk’s ownership, Morial said. In assessing this — or any other — purchase offer, consider the possible impact on millions of people directly and indirectly, as well as our nation’s culture and democracy.
Musk just bid $54.20 per share, or $43 billion, for Twitter. Twitter adopted a limited duration shareholder rights plan on Friday, a so-called “poison pill” designed to thwart a hostile takeover.
Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, just acquired a 9.1% interest in Twitter. Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal invited Musk to join the board, but only if he didn’t buy more than 14.9% of the firm. Musk subsequently changed his mind and proposed taking Twitter private.
“I invested in Twitter because I believe free expression is a societal requirement for a functioning democracy,” Musk said in a letter to Taylor and revealed in a securities filing. In its existing shape, the corporation will neither prosper nor satisfy this societal objective. Twitter must become a private company.”
Musk, who has attacked journalists and others who criticise him and his firm, has a hazy view of free speech.
“A reasonable test of free speech is: Can someone you dislike say something you dislike? And if that’s the case, we have free speech,” Musk said Thursday at TED2022 in Vancouver.
Musk, a self-described “free speech absolutist,” believes Twitter’s algorithm should be made public so users may better curate their news feed. “Twitter should meet the rules of the country,” he said, acknowledging the need for some content management.