OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre addressed a reporter’s question about new Twitter boss Elon Musk and his platform with an answer that many found disconcerting.
At Monday’s briefing, a reporter asked: “Just a question about Twitter. You know, there’s a researcher at Stanford who says that this is a critical moment, really, in terms of ensuring that Twitter does not become a vector for misinformation. I mean, are you concerned about the — you know, Elon Musk says there’s more and more subscribers coming online. Are you concerned about that? And what tools do you have — who is it at the White House that is really keeping track of this?”
In response, Jean-Pierre said that the Biden administration was “keeping a close eye on” the platform and its CEO, Musk.
“So, look, this is something that we’re certainly keeping an eye on. And, look, we — you know, we have always been very clear and — that when it comes to social media platforms, it is their responsibility to make sure that when it comes to misinformation, when we — when it comes to the hate that we’re seeing, that they take action, that they continue to take action,” the spokeswoman said, without providing any specifics.
“Again, we’re all keeping a close eye on this. We’re all monitoring what’s — what’s currently occurring. And we see — you know, we see it with our own eyes of what you all are reporting and, just for ourselves, what’s happening on Twitter. But again, social media companies have a responsibility to prevent their platforms from being used by any user to incite violence, especially violence directed at individual communities, as we have been seeing,” she added, again without elaborating.
“And the President has been very clear on calling that out. He’ll continue to do that. And we’re going to continue to monitor the situation,” Jean-Pierre concluded.
Since Musk took over the social media giant, he has been getting a great deal of criticism from the left for changes he is making, including bringing back previously banned users like former President Donald Trump.
He is also seeing a host of advertisers ending their relationship with the platform as well, including big-name tech companies like Apple. In fact, twice-failed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s name has come up in the left’s ongoing effort to strip Twitter of advertisers.
According to the Fox Business Network, Clinton is linked to a group called Accountable Tech, which “spearheaded a letter to top Twitter advertisers as part of a larger pressure campaign demanding ‘non-negotiable’ requirements for their business, saying that Musk’s takeover will further ‘toxify’ the social media giant and directly threaten public safety.”
The letter states: “Twitter has outsized influence in shaping both public discourse and industry-wide platform governance standards. While the company is hardly a poster child for healthy social media, it has taken welcome steps in recent years to mitigate systemic risks, ratcheting up pressure on the likes of Facebook and YouTube to follow suit.”
“Musk intends to steamroll those safeguards and provide a megaphone to extremists who traffic in disinformation, hate, and harassment,” the letter continues. “Under the guise of ‘free speech,’ his vision will silence and endanger marginalized communities, and tear at the fraying fabric of democracy.”
Fox Business Network added:
The group demands that advertisers commit to keeping accounts of politicians and public figures removed for “egregious violations” off the platform, ensuring “algorithmic accountability” and continuing their “commitment to research transparency and researcher access” – or drop their business.
It’s unclear what companies received Accountable Tech’s letter, which is also signed by 25 other liberal groups, including Media Matters and the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation.
The outlet noted that Accountable Tech is not on its own. Rather, the org is financially sponsored by the North Fund, a nonprofit “incubator” that is part of a billion-dollar “dark money network” that is managed by Arabella Advisors, a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm, according to business records.
The leftist group is very closely tied to Hillary Clinton’s Onward Together group, a nonprofit she created after she lost the 2016 presidential election to Donald Trump as a means of providing her a platform of resistance.