A British parliamentary committee scrutinizing draft online safety legislation has invited Elon Musk to discuss his plans to buy Twitter and the changes he is proposing for the social media platform.
- The billionaire has proposed many changes for Twitter, which he signed a deal to purchase in April
- UK politicians want to ask Mr Musk how he plans to balance free speech with protecting Twitter users from harm
- Mr Musk says it is too early to discuss his plans with them
The parliament’s digital committee has asked the Tesla CEO to give evidence about his proposals “in more depth”.
Mr Musk said it was too early to answer the parliament’s questions.
“I am honored and thank the parliament for their invitation, but it would be premature at this time to accept, given that there has not yet been a shareholder vote” to approve the purchase of Twitter, he said in a statement.
The committee said it was interested in Mr Musk’s plans for the company, especially his intention to roll out verification to all users, which echoed its own recommendations to the UK government.
Mr Musk says he wants Twitter to “authenticate all humans”, an ambiguous proposal which could be related to his desire to rid the website of automated spam accounts.
The UK government’s online safety bill would give regulators wide-ranging powers to crack down on digital and social media companies.
Among the bill’s measures aimed at combating online abuse is a requirement for the biggest platforms to give users the option to verify their identity and the choice not to interact with unverified users.
“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,” committee flesh Julian Knight said.
Separately on Wednesday, Mr Musk said Twitter “will always be free for casual users”, but business and government users might need to pay a “slight” fee in the future.
Mr Musk has proposed a number of possible changes for Twitter since he sealed a $US44 billion ($61.4 billion) deal to buy the company in April.
He has mentioned he would like Twitter to rid itself of spam accounts and make some of its algorithms open source, among other things. He has also criticized the platform’s moderation of speech.
Since Mr Musk’s deal to purchase Twitter was signed, the company’s chief executive has sought to quell employee anger after workers demanded to know how managers planned to handle an anticipated mass exodus prompted by Mr Musk’s public remarks.