German Politicians Demand Crackdown on Twitter After Elon Musk Takeover

GRUENHEIDE, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 03: Tesla head Elon Musk talks to the press as he arrives
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Senior politicians within one ruling German party are demanding authorities crack down on Twitter after the platform was bought by Elon Musk.

Bigwigs within the ruling Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) have called on their government to clamp down on Twitter in the wake of the platform’s purchase by Elon Musk.

The senior politicians have reportedly cited Musk’s political viewpoints as the reason for their demand, with some senior members of the party even reportedly leaving the platform entirely after its acquisition by the PayPal founder.

According to a report by the business newspaper Handelsblatt, SPD members are concerned that Twitter under Musk will not sufficiently censor content to their liking, with politicians putting major emphasis on various German and EU laws mandating the platform to ban discourse deemed to be problematic.

As a result, many are demanding that the country’s own Federal Office of Justice step in, seemingly hoping that putting the platform under more scrutiny should prevent both the platform and its senior members from stepping out of line.

“The Federal Office of Justice must therefore take Twitter under stricter supervision and act quickly and decisively in the event of violations,” Jens Zimmermann MP told the publication, before urging for the social media firm and its leadership to be hauled in front of the courts if it does not follow Germany’s rules.

“If Twitter does not meet the requirements, there are penalties not only against the company, but also against the managers responsible,” he went on to say, demanding “decisive action” be taken to ensure Twitter censors speech.

Meanwhile, party co-leader Lars Klingbeil expressed fear that the Musk takeover could reduce freedom of speech on the platform, despite the multi-billionaire largely justifying his purchase of the social media giant over censorship concerns.

“I think it’s highly problematic that Twitter is now being taken over by someone who wants to use the network much more politically,” Handelsblatt reports Klingbeil as saying. “Should diversity of opinion continue to be attacked, the authorities must take consistent action.”

Since Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter, the platform has come under sustained fire from legacy media platforms, activists and advertisers, many of whom are upset that the Tesla CEO will make the iconic “blue checkmark” more widely available to those outside the progressive media sphere.

Many have even threatened to leave the platform entirely over Musk’s takeover, many of whom painting utopian visions of alternative platforms.

Senior members of the ruling SPD party have reportedly been part of such an exodus, with party co-leader Saskia Esken being one of the many to bail on the platform.

Esken justified leaving the platform by saying it endangers democracy through the promotion of “disinformation” and “hate speech”.

“Twitter does nothing against fake profiles, acts extremely carelessly when dealing with reported criminal content such as insults or incitement to hatred and does not stop unlawful Twitter blocks even after clear verdicts,” she said.

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