By Chris Teale
April 19, 2022 at 12:01 am ET
Amid his attempted hostile takeover of Twitter Inc., Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk said the social media platform must be an “inclusive arena for free speech” and do more to protect it. A new Morning Consult survey found that half of Republican adults believe they cannot express themselves freely on social media, while 43% of the general public said they can speak freely.
Musk has been one of Twitter’s most prolific users in recent years, a trend that has gotten him into trouble with the Securities and Exchange Commission and Tesla shareholders for alleged stock market manipulation. Shortly after receiving Musk’s takeover bid, Twitter quickly moved to dilute his influence on its board and prevent him from acquiring a much larger stake amid employee concern.
Republicans have long been critical of social media platforms’ alleged censorship of conservative viewpoints and have searched for alternatives, including former President Donald Trump’s floundering Truth Social.
And while proposals like an edit button have been discussed for years, Twitter executives have warned that the feature will need a lot of studying prior to launch.
The April 15-17, 2022, survey was conducted among a representative sample of 2,210 U.S. adults, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
Chris Teale previously worked at Morning Consult as a reporter covering technology.