Tesla CEO Elon Musk has received an invitation to appear before the UK Parliament so he could talk about his upcoming $44 billion acquisition of Twitter. The letter was penned by Julian Knight, the Chair of the UK House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Select Committee.
In a statement on Wednesday, Knight stated that Musk’s appearance in the UK Parliament would allow the CEO to set out his proposals for the social media platform. The DCMS Committee Chair also noted that he is looking forward to welcoming the CEO.
“At a time when social media companies face the prospect of tighter regulations around the world, we’re keen to learn more about how Mr. Musk will balance his clear commitment to free speech with new obligations to protect Twitter’s users from online harms. Appearing before the committee will give Mr. Musk an ideal opportunity to set out his proposals for Twitter in more depth, and we would look forward to welcoming him,” Knight commented.
In his letter to Musk, Knight stated that the DCMS Committee is particularly interested in the CEO’s intention to make verifications easier for Twitter users. The Chair also mentioned the DCMS’s call for greater transparency on bots, as well as automated and spam accounts. Knight mentioned the UK’s Online Safety Bill as well, which seeks to balance civil liberties with the need to tackle serious issues like exploitation and abuse.
Under the Online Safety Bill, the UK’s media watchdog, Ofcom, would be allowed to issue fines of up to 10% of a company’s global annual revenue for violations. Tech executives may also face time behind bars if they fail to cooperate with regulators on multiple occasions.
“I know you have expressed your wish that critics remain on Twitter, and this may present an opportunity to address any critiques in public. I look forward to hearing your response and discussing your plans for the future of Twitter in Committee in the near future,” Knight wrote.
Musk is not the first tech billionaire who has been invited to appear before the UK Parliament. Back in 2018, lawmakers invited Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to attend a hearing over the Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal. Zuckerberg declined the invitation.
The DCMS Chair’s letter to Elon Musk could be viewed below.
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