Republicans are cheering Elon Musk's attempted hostile takeover of Twitter.
They see Musk as an advocate for "free speech" on the platform.
High-profile Republicans like Donald Trump have been banned for violating Twitter's rules.
At least one group is cheering billionaire Elon Musk's proposal to buy Twitter: Republican politicians.
After news broke on Wednesday morning that the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX wanted to purchase the social media network for $43 billion, congressional Republicans took to the very same powerful or platform to express their support for the idea.
"@elonmusk 's fight for free speech is patriotic and necessary. He deserves the Medal of Freedom," Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado tweeted. Boebert was temporarily suspended from Twitter in January 2021 after posting tweets that falsely implied the 2020 election was rigged, though her account was reinstated shortly after.
—Rep. Lauren Boebert (@RepBoebert) April 14, 2022
Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio tweeted, "Elon Musk. Free speech."
"This is the public square today, these social, these big tech platforms, this is where we have debate in our culture and our country today," Jordan told Fox News on Wednesday. "So let's have someone in charge who respects the first amendment and free speech."
—Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) April 14, 2022
Musk is famous for his rough-and-tumble, no-holds-barred approach to Twitter that has long delighted his fans and repulsed his detractors. He has feuded with the likes of Jeff Bezos and rapper Azealia Banks, and once falsely accused a British diver who helped rescue 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave of being a "pedo guy."
Conservatives have long argued that social media networks are biased against them, and see Musk as a figure who would be sympathetic to their concerns. However, the bans or temporary suspensions of high-profile right wing figures like Donald Trump or Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia have resulted from their violations of Twitter's content policies against hate speech, spreading disinformation, or promoting violence.
In recent days, as he prepared his hostile takeover bid, Musk has tweeted about free speech on Twitter.
"Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?" he asked his 81 million followers on March 25.
—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 25, 2022
Musk's approach to his own Twitter presence has concerned some critics of the deal, who believe he would take a loose approach to tamping down on hate speech and disinformation on the platform.
"I am frightened by the impact on society and politics if Elon Musk acquires Twitter," Washington Post opinion columnist Max Boot tweeted."He seems to believe that on social media anything goes. For democracy to survive, we need more content moderation, not less."
Republicans were quick to use the news of Musk's hostile takeover to attack their opponents.
"Democrats really do hate the prospect of free speech on Twitter," tweeted Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana.
Rep. Darrell Issa of California wrote, "The panic coming from blue-check media after Elon Musk's offer to buy Twitter is the fear of losing the ability to censor conservatives online and silence free speech they don't like."
—Rep. Darrell Issa (@repdarrellissa) April 14, 2022
At least one Republican appeared to hope that Musk's takeover would mean Trump's return to the platform after Twitter permanently banned him in January 2021.
—Congressman Troy Nehls (@RepTroyNehls) April 14, 2022
"Make Twitter Great Again," declared Texas Rep. Troy Nehls.
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