Faced with protests, new Twitter owner Elon Musk on Sunday deleted a tweet he posted spreading rumors of an attack on the husband of Congressional Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. That being said, the platform’s recent acquisition raises concerns about a resurgence of misinformation about the app.
“There is a small chance that looks can be deceiving,” the billionaire tweeted Sunday morning to his 123 million followers, which was deleted in the afternoon.
His post talked about the attack on Paul Pelosi and linked to an article by the conservative Santa Monica Observer that circulated unverified information about the attack.
According to the daily newspaper Los Angeles Times, this media outlet has published conspiracy theories and false information in the past.
Paul Pelosi was attacked at his home on Friday by a man with a hammer who was actually looking for Nancy Pelosi. In particular, he received a skull fracture and was hospitalized.
Elon Musk reacted to a tweet by former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton criticizing conspiracy theories spread by the Republican Party.
“The Republican Party and its representatives now regularly promote hate speech and completely insane conspiracy theories,” condemned the former US Secretary of State. “It’s shocking, but not surprising, and the result is violence.”
US President Joe Biden also denounced Paul Pelosi’s aggression this weekend, tying it to the fallout from disinformation ten days before the midterms.
The fractious Tesla and SpaceX boss, who positions himself as a champion of free speech, has repeatedly said he wants to make Twitter a kind of digital agora where all opinions can freely express themselves.
He defended overly strict content moderation, but focused most of his attacks on alleged censorship of right-wing and far-right voices.
However, in an effort to reassure his advertisers, Elon Musk promised after the acquisition of Twitter that the social network would not become “hellish” and that he would provide it with “content moderation advice.”