Prominent liberals warned of the “dangers” of Tesla CEO Elon Musk buying Twitter as some progressives with large followings deleted their accounts in protest of the anticipated change in ownership.
Shaun King, a Black Lives Matter activist, claimed he had logged off the site for good — only to log on again early Tuesday to spar with Donald Trump Jr. — after tweeting that Musk’s takeover bid was about “white power.”
“At its root, Elon Musk wanting to purchase Twitter is not about left vs right. It’s about white power,” King tweeted before Twitter’s board accepted Musk’s $44 billion takeover bid.
“The man was raised in Apartheid by a white nationalist. He’s upset that Twitter won’t allow white nationalists to target/harass people. That’s his definition of free speech.”
“So for me, this isn’t about left vs right. Not at all. It’s about how the richest man in the world, a son of Apartheid, raised by a white nationalist, wants to be sure his speech, and that of other white men, isn’t censored.”
Erik Larsen, the comic book creator whose credits include “The Amazing Spider-Man,” deleted his account after vowing to do so if Musk bought Twitter.
“The day Elon Musk buys Twitter is the day I delete my account and leave Twitter,” Larsen tweeted on April 14.
“Nothing good can come from Elon Musk buying Twitter.”
Larsen added: “At some point the 1st Amendment protecting FREE SPEECH was maliciously altered to the FREEDOM to LIE.”
“The Freedom to lie with impunity is one of the biggest dangers to American democracy,” he tweeted.
“This platform would become an even more hellish landscape of lies and misinformation.”
Jameela Jamil, the actress and activist, announced that she’s leaving Twitter after the platform accepted Elon Musk’s $44 billion offer to buy the company.
“Ah he got Twitter,” Jamil tweeted alongside four images of herself with her dog. “I would like this to be my what lies here as my last tweet. Just really any excuse to show pics of Barold.”
Howard Dean, the former Vermont governor and Democratic presidential candidate, tweeted: “Hi Twitterverse. Many thanks for the knowledge and sharing over the past ten years or so.”
He added: “If Musk takes over Twitter I will be off within a few hours. Might be just as well for my well being but I’ve learned a lot of valuable stuff from many of you. Thank you all. Howard.”
Musk’s imminent purchase of Twitter raised fears among prominent liberals that he would soften the site’s content moderation policies, allowing controversial figures to express unpopular views.
Rob Reiner, the actor and director, said he feared Musk buying Twitter would lead to the reinstatement of “criminal” Donald Trump, the former president who was banned from the site after the events at the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
“Now that Elon Musk is buying Twitter, the question for all of us is: Will he allow a Criminal who used this platform to lie and spread disinformation to try to overthrow the US Government to return and continue his Criminal activity? And if he does, how do we combat it?” Reiner tweeted.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Democrat from Massachusetts, tweeted: “This deal is dangerous for our democracy.”
Warren continued: “Billionaires like Elon Musk play by a different set of rules than everyone else, accumulating power for their own gain. We need a wealth tax and strong rules to hold Big Tech accountable.”