President Joe Biden on Friday called out Elon Musk, saying the billionaire had purchased a social media platform that “spews lies all across the world.”
“Elon Musk goes out and buys an outfit that spews lies all across the world,” the president said at a Democratic fundraiser in Rosemont, Illinois, just outside of Chicago, according to the pool.
“There’s no editors anymore in America,” he added.
The president’s remarks followed news Friday that Twitter had laid off thousands of employees across the company – a severe round of cost cutting that could potentially upend how one of the world’s most influential platforms operates one week after it was acquired by Musk.
The acquisition was quickly followed by reports of a surge in racist comments and hate speech on the platform, and several major advertisers paused campaigns on Twitter in recent days.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters earlier Friday that Biden has been “outspoken about the importance of social media platforms continuing to take steps to reduce hate speech and misinformation.”
“That belief extends to Twitter, it extends to Facebook and any other social media platforms where users can spread misinformation,” she continued.
Shortly before news of his acquisition broke last week, Musk wrote an open letter attempting to reassure advertisers that he does not want the social network to become a “free-for-all hellscape.”
He tweeted Friday morning that Twitter has seen a “massive drop in revenue,” which he blamed on “activist groups pressuring advertisers,” and later addressed the layoffs tweeting that “unfortunately there is no choice when the company is losing over $4M/day.”
Departing employees were offered three months of severance, he wrote.