OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Being the chief executive officer of a multibillion-dollar social media company is more than a full-time job, but Twitter boss Elon Musk appears to have settled into his new role rather well. In fact, he appears even to have time to help run some of the platform’s fact-checking operations.
Musk responded to criticism from Rep. Adam Schiff on Thursday after the California Democrat, whose party will no longer control the House come January, made several false claims about rising abuse on the platform since Musk has implemented looser speech policies.
Schiff tweeted: “On Elon Musk’s Twitter: – Slurs against Black people have tripled – Slurs against women are up 33% – Slurs against Jewish people are up 61% – And slurs against gay men are up 58% These numbers are abysmal – and unacceptable. Today, @RepMarkTakano and I are demanding action.”
Musk replied: False, hate speech impressions are actually down by 1/3 for Twitter now vs prior to acquisition @CommunityNotes.”
False, hate speech impressions are actually down by 1/3 for Twitter now vs prior to acquisition @CommunityNotes
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 8, 2022
Previously, the controversial Democratic lawmaker accused Musk of abusing animals during testing for one of his technology companies, Neuralink.
“When he’s not sabotaging safeguards against digital misinformation and hate, Or laying off thousands of employees, Elon Musk is running a company that performs cruel and deadly tests on animals? Doesn’t sound like a genius to me. Not even an unstable one,” Schiff tweeted.
When he's not sabotaging safeguards against digital misinformation and hate,
Or laying off thousands of employees,
Elon Musk is running a company that performs cruel and deadly tests on animals?
Doesn’t sound like a genius to me.
Not even an unstable one.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) December 7, 2022
Last week, Musk also published a graphic showing that since his takeover, hate speech incidents have fallen considerably.
“Hate speech impressions (# of times tweet was viewed) continue to decline, despite significant user growth! @TwitterSafety will publish data weekly. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom of reach. Negativity should & will get less reach than positivity,” he wrote.
Hate speech impressions (# of times tweet was viewed) continue to decline, despite significant user growth!@TwitterSafety will publish data weekly.
Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom of reach. Negativity should & will get less reach than positivity. pic.twitter.com/36zl29rCSM
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 2, 2022
Schiff, who has been chair of the House Intelligence Committee, could be losing not only his leadership role but also is position on the panel after Republicans take control in January.
GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, who is expected to become Speaker, has vowed to remove Schiff.
“Another change you’re going to get, Adam Schiff will no longer be on the Intel Committee when I become speaker. I promised that more than two years ago,” McCarthy said during an interview on Fox News.
“[Democrats] also used the intel community as well to lie to the American public. Should those people keep their clearances? Should those people still be allowed to have information? If they’re going to be political individuals, then, no, they should not. And this is just the tip of the iceberg of what we need to investigate going forward,” he added.
Late last month, McCarthy said that if elected Speaker, he will also remove Democratic Reps. Eric Swalwell and Ilhan Omar from congressional committees for past conduct.
During an interview on Fox News with host Maria Bartiromo, McCarthy spoke about Republicans winning back control of the U.S. House in the midterm elections. McCarthy, who appears poised to be nominated as the speaker, said he will honor his promise to boot the three controversial Democrats.
“Congressman, let me ask you about your decisions should you become the speaker of the House in January. What are you going to do in terms of these Democrats that you have on such important committees? You’ve talked in the past about removing I’ll hand to or mar, about Ilhan Omar, you’ve talked about removing Adam Schiff, about Eric Swalwell. Will you deliver?” Bartiromo asked McCarthy.
“Yes, I will. I’ll keep that promise. And one thing I’ve said from the very beginning, Eric Swalwell cannot get a security clearance in the public sector. Why would we ever give him a security clearance in the secrets of America? So I will not allow him to be on Intel. You have Adam Schiff who had lied to the American public time and again. We will not allow him to be on the Intel Committee either. Look, Congresswoman Omar, her anti-Semitic comments that have gone forward, we’re not going to allow her to be on Foreign Affairs. But we’re also going to stand up to what’s happening not just in the halls of Congress, but what’s happening to our higher education institutions, the anti-Semitism that’s going on on these campuses and others. We’ll investigate that as well and stop this to make sure that America does have the freedoms that we said we would keep and we would stand up to it as we move forward,” McCarthy declared.