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MP invites Elon Musk to London to discuss Twitter takeover

Elon Musk MP
Image credit: Daniel Oberhaus

Elon Musk has been invited to meet with British MPs to discuss his recent $44bn (£34.5bn) acquisition of Twitter.

Conservative MP Julian Knight has written to Musk regarding some of the pledges the billionaire entrepreneur made about the future of the social media company.

While no concrete decisions have been made on how Musk will change the social media platform’s policies and features, several ideas have caught the attention of UK MPs.

Musk has expressed interest in implementing stricter user verification to tackle bots and spam accounts. He has also said he is a proponent of free speech, causing speculation that Musk would allow banned users such as President Donald Trump to return to Twitter.

Knight, who chairs the UK House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee, has invited Musk to speak before the DCMS committee to discuss these proposals.

Knight wrote that DCMS is “interested in the developments” and noted that the committee has similarly called on the government to strengthen online user verification.

The letter also mentioned the currently unpassed Online Safety Bill, which would give UK regulators the power to punish online platforms that allow ‘harmful content’, and how it may clash with Musk’s stated intention of totally free expression.

Elon Musk: MP cites similar stance on verification

“Our recent report on the UK’s Online Safety Bill discussed ways to balance civil liberties like freedom of expression with the need to tackle pernicious, pervasive online child sexual exploitation and abuse,” wrote Knight.

“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk said via Twitter after confirming the acquisition.

“I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spambots, and authenticating all humans.”

The acquisition of Twitter by Musk has been approved by the company board. However, it won’t be finalised until it receives approval from both shareholders and regulators.

Musk has yet to respond to the invitation. Previously, the DCMS repeatedly called Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg to answer the committee’s questions, only for the tech billionaire to decline the government’s invitiations.