Science

Elon Musk invited to discuss $44 billion Twitter deal in UK Parliament

Musk’s plan to buy has worried politicians around the world.

Joe Skipper | Reuters

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been asked to testify before the British Parliament about his $44 billion purchase deal.

Julian Knight, who chairs the House Committee on Digital, Culture, Media and Sports, sent Musk a letter asking him to appear before lawmakers to discuss the proposal “in more detail.”

“At a time when social media companies face the prospect of tightening regulations around the world, we want to learn more about how Mr. Musk will balance his clear commitment to free speech with new commitments to protect users from harm in Internet,” Knight said. announcement on Wednesday.

A Tesla spokesperson was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.

Musk’s plan to buy has worried politicians around the world amid fears that the world’s richest man will loosen restrictions on what users can say or share on social media.

In the UK, the government is seeking to push through new laws that place a duty on online platforms to exercise caution in dealing with malicious and illegal content.

The bill, known as the Internet Safety Bill, allows Ofcom to impose fines of up to 10% of the company’s annual global turnover for violations. Technology executives also risk jail time for repeatedly refusing to cooperate with regulators.

Meanwhile, the European Union’s new Digital Services Act will force major technology platforms to pull illegal content and products from their services more quickly. EU officials warned Musk last week that he would have to play by the rules if he wanted to take control.

This is not the first time the billionaire technologist has been asked to speak before the British Parliament. In 2018, lawmakers called Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to a hearing over the disinformation and data privacy scandal of Cambridge Analytica, but he declined.

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