Elon Musk Pressured to Censor X Users Ahead of Election

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Elon Musk Pressured to Censor X Users Ahead of Election

By Movieguide® Contributor

Internet freedom advocate Mike Benz recently explained that Elon Musk is facing pressure to censor right-leaning users on his social media platform X, formerly Twitter, heading into the 2024 election.

“[Musk is] under and extraordinary amount of pressure [to censor conservative users], and that pressure opinions is going to continue to mount as the election approaches,” Benz, a former cyber official with the State Department, told Tucker Carlson.

“I think there are 7 or 8 different Justice Department or SEC or FTC investigations into Elon Musk properties that all started after his acquisition of X,” he added.

However, despite the growing pressure, Benz believes Musk’s other properties give him the leverage he needs. Because the government relies on his SpaceX rockets and the batteries he produces, they cannot completely strong-arm him into complying with their will. Nonetheless, Benz believes they will have their way through a “death by a thousand cuts” approach.

“There are dependencies that the national security has on Elon Musk. I’m not sure he’d have as much room to negotiate if he had become the world’s richest man, selling at a lemonade stand,” Benz explained.

“If the national security state goes too hard on him by invoking something like [the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States] to sort of nationalize some of these properties, I think the shockwave that it would send to the international investor community would be irrecoverable at a time when we’re engaged in great power competition,” he continued.

The pressure on X to censor certain opinions comes as the Supreme Court hears a ruling on the constitutionality of social media censorship. The court is currently ruling on Texas and Florida laws that prohibit social media sites from censoring and banning political figures. The result of this hearing would certainly affect the mounting pressure on Musk to monitor his site.

While it does not contribute to the final ruling, Joe Biden’s administration filed a friend-of-the-court briefing, siding with the social media companies to continue censoring their platforms.

Movieguide® previously reported:

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court began hearing a case that will decide the future of social media platforms’ rights to censor content.

The case will determine the constitutionality of current laws in Texas and Florida that limit the power of social media platforms to censor content on their sites. These laws were passed in response to the consistent censorship of right-leaning politicians and public figures who have been silenced for sharing their opinions.

While this silencing is continuously happening, it is most notable on polarizing topics, such as the pandemic or gender issues, which has caused thousands of right-leaning users to be banned or shadow-banned by the sites.

To combat this unfair treatment, the Florida law prohibits platforms from banning users who are candidates for public office or are engaged in “journalistic enterprise.” Texas, meanwhile, prohibits social media sites from removing content based on a viewpoint.