Twitter’s Board of Directors’ response to Elon Musk’s offer to take the company private, one that avoided giving him a direct answer but did also involve massive steps meant to stop him from buying up the company, has a number of Republican lawmakers worried.
What exactly are they worried about? That Twitter might not be acting in an above-board manner and that the Board is letting factors other than its fiduciary duty to investors weigh on its response to Elon’s offer, something that would not only be illegal but could also show that there are other forces acting on Twitter.
So, rather than just sit silently and ignore the problem in the name of the “free market,” or complain about how Twitter and its officers are acting but doing nothing to stop them, a number of House Republicans are taking action to hold Twitter accountable, or at least put its Board on notice that it’s being watched.
They, led by Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, did so by writing a letter demanding that the Board preserve all communications having to do with the offer and their decision-making surrounding it, saying:
Free speech online is under attack by Big Tech. In particular, Twitter has increasingly engaged in“heavy-handed censorship . . . to silence prominent voices . . . and stifle views that disagree with the prevailing progressive consensus.”1 Big Tech’s eroding commitment to free speech prevents informed public discourse and undermines First Amendment principles.2 These harms follow from how Twitter and other social media companies increasingly function as the“de facto public town square” for the American people.3
Decisions regarding Twitter’s future governance will undoubtedly be consequential for public discourse in the United States and could give rise to renewed efforts to legislate in furtherance of preserving free expression online. Among other things, theBoard’sreactions toElonMusk’s offer to purchase Twitter,4 and outsider opposition toMusk’s role in Twitter’sfuture are concerning.5 Twitter’s Board Members have fiduciary duties to the company’s shareholders.6 These duties apply despite how many corporations’ leaders increasingly pursue progressive policy goals divorced from shareholder interests.
As Congress continues to examine Big Tech and how to best protect Americans’ free speech rights, this letter serves as a formal request that you preserve all records and materials relating to musk’s offer to purchase Twitter, including his consideration and response to this offer, and twitter’s evaluation of its shareholder interests with respect to Musk’s offer. You should construe this preservation notice as an instruction to take all reasonable steps to prevent the destruction or alteration, whether intentionally or negligently, of all documents, communications, and other information, including electronic information and metadata, that is or may be potentially responsive to this congressional inquiry. This instruction includes all electronic messages sent using official and personal accounts or devices, including records created using text messages, phone-based message applications, or encryption software.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
That letter is big news for those watching the battle over Big Tech with frustration and concern.
Though it could amount to a nothing burger, as many attempts by the GOP to wrangle leftist institutions back under control end up being, it could also hint that the GOP is taking the Big Tech threat seriously and fully intends on watching Twitter to make sure it doesn’t break the law in dealing with Musk.
This story syndicated with permission from Will, Author at Trending Politics
Notice: This article may contain commentary that reflects the author's opinion.
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