Topsy-Turvy: Yellen Now Claims Musk's Twitter Deal Should Be Investigated
Last month, Janet Yellen said that there is “no basis” for launching an investigation of Elon Musk's acquisition of Twitter. In October, the world's richest man bought the company for $44 billion.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen claims that she misspoke when she said last month that there was no basis for an investigation into Elon Musk's Twitter deal.
"Let me clarify. I misspoke," Yellen said.
Now she insists that the deal should be looked into by the Committee on Foreign Investment.
The American government is concerned about the role of foreign investments in Twitter, however, it's not the only thing that worries regulators. Musk's idea of free speech manifests in his laissez-faire approach to moderation. These two factors combined have raised concerns in the US establishment about the possible spread of disinformation on the platform
The largest shareholder after Musk is Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holdings, owned by billionaire and member of the royal family Al Waleed bin Talal.
Previously, President Joe Biden
indicated that Musk's purchase of Twitter should be looked into as a possible threat to US national security.
“I think that Elon Musk’s cooperation and or technical relationships with other countries is worthy of being looked at. Whether or not he is doing anything inappropriate, I’m not suggesting that. It warrants being looked at,” said Biden.
Musk's promotion of the idea of freedom of speech on the platform has been viewed by western governments as lack of moderation. Just a few days ago, Musk unblocked the account of former US President Donald Trump
. His account was blocked after the US Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, when thousands of Trump supporters stormed the federal building to stop the certification of the 2020 election results.
The unblocking of Trump's account and general relaxation of moderation didn't go unnoticed by other governments either. The EU threatens to ban Twitter if Musk does not adhere to the bloc's moderating rules. According to EU officials, the new Twitter owner must stop using his “arbitrary” approach to unblocking users that were banned for allegedly disseminating disinformation “aggressively.”