Sen. Amy Klobuchar said she does not trust Elon Musk running Twitter, lambastes social-media companies for 'making money off' violence

Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Elon Musk.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Elon Musk.Jacquelyn Martin/AP and Hannibal Hanschke/Pool Photo via AP
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar said she does not trust Elon Musk as the new owner of Twitter.

  • She called for greater content moderation on social media, where conspiracy theories run rampant.

  • Musk has said he is a "free-speech absolutionist" who wants Twitter to be a "digital town square."

Sen. Amy Klobuchar on Sunday said she doesn't trust Elon Musk as the new owner of Twitter, noting that social-media companies have profited from misinformation, disinformation, and political-conspiracy campaigns.

The Minnesota Democrat called for stronger content moderation on social-media sites while on "Meet the Press" on NBC News on Sunday morning when host Chuck Todd asked if she trusts Musk.

"No, I do not," Klobuchar replied before rebuking social-media companies for "making money" off of amplifying "stuff that's a bunch of lies."

Musk, a self-proclaimed "free-speech absolutionist" who has said he wants Twitter to be a "digital town square," has previously criticized content moderation, Insider's Travis Clark previously reported.

Musk said Friday that the company plans to form a content-moderation council, adding that "no major content decisions" would happen before that.

 

"Elon Musk has said now that he's going to start a content-moderation board. That was one good sign. But I continue to be concerned about that. I just don't think people should be making money off of passing on this stuff that's a bunch of lies," Klobuchar said on Sunday. "You couldn't do that on your network, Chuck."

Todd replied that NBC has "real rules." News organizations are tasked with fact-checking and verifying the information they share, a basic tenet of journalism.

"That is not a requirement of these companies. And we have to change the requirements on these companies. They are making money off of us. They are making money off of this violence," Klobuchar said. "I think that it's one thing if someone is posting stuff on the internet, it is another when they're making money amplifying it."

Klobuchar added that social-media companies bear some responsibility in staving off political violence, referencing the attack on Paul Pelosi on Friday. A 42-year-old man who broke into Pelosi's San Francisco home searching for the House Speaker hit her husband with a hammer.

Los Angeles Times report found that the suspect in the assault, David DePape, previously spread right-wing QAnon conspiracy theories, antisemitism, and bigotry on social media.

"When you look at what this guy was looking at, he was looking at just horrendous things you don't even want to talk about on your show. He was posting antisemitic tropes. He was showing memes that showed violence and all of this election-denying, pro-Trump, MAGA-crowd rhetoric. That's what we're dealing with here," Klobuchar said on Sunday.

Klobuchar listed her four priorities in the aftermath of the assault, including prosecuting "this perpetrator who committed a violent, violent crime" and adding more security for elected officials.

"Number three is to make sure we're not electing more election deniers who are following Donald Trump down this road. And then number four, yes, once we get some people in who care about our democracy, we have to do something about this amplification of this election-denying hate speech that we see on the internet," Klobuchar said.

She also said she would "reduce their Section 230 immunity" — a section of federal law that reduces liability for illegal things that people say on social media platforms — to "allow people to go after them when they are making money off of amplifying election falsehoods and hate speech."

Read the original article on Business Insider