Earlier this year, billionaire Elon Musk tweeted about voting Republican for the first time.
Now, Musk seems to be continuing his red streak… but not for the reason you think.
“Shared power curbs the worst excesses of both parties,” Musk tweeted Monday. “Therefore I recommend voting for a Republican Congress, given that the Presidency is Democratic.”
The Democrats have been campaigning on threats to democracy, but Musk cited democracy as a reason to vote Republican.
The American public seems to agree with Musk. The president’s party has controlled both chambers of Congress for only 10 of the last 22 years. Americans choose a divided government over a one-party trifecta.
Musk addressed his message to “independent-minded voters.”
“Hardcore Democrats or Republicans never vote for the other side,” the tech mogul tweeted. “So independent voters are the ones who actually decide who’s in charge!”
Musk was expressing his own beliefs and intents, rather than siccing Twitter on his political opponents.
The mercurial billionaire has said he won’t make major decisions about content or restoring banned accounts — such as that of former President Donald Trump — before setting up a “content moderation council” with diverse viewpoints. The council, he later added, will include “the civil rights community and groups who face hate-fueled violence.” This process will likely take several weeks, and so content moderation looks unlikely to change any time before the election.
Some liberals accused Musk of trying to “influence our elections.”
Take a look —
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I voted for Mayra Flores – first time I ever voted Republican.
Massive red wave in 2022.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 15, 2022
Musk tweeted Tuesday that he’d met with some “civil society leaders” to discuss “how Twitter will continue to combat hate & harassment & enforce its election integrity policies.”
On Friday, Musk tweeted that “Twitter’s strong commitment to content moderation remains absolutely unchanged. In fact, we have actually seen hateful speech at times this week decline *below* our prior norms, contrary to what you may read in the press.”
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Some amount of chaos is expected after a corporate takeover, as are layoffs and firings. But Musk’s murky plans for Twitter have investors taking notice.
A growing number of advertisers are pausing — or stopping all together –spending on Twitter while they reassess how Musk’s changes might increase objectionable material on the platform.
Some liberal advertisers object to Musk’s beliefs. Others take issue with Musk’s unpredictable behavior and its potential effects on the bottom line.
But the advertisers have hardly anywhere else to go.
Instagram and TikTok are fueled more by images than text exchanges. Facebook is no longer popular with younger users. LinkedIn is more formal. Some developers are trying to rush out alternative sites like “Mastodon,” but it takes times to develop a stable, user-friendly site that can handle millions of accounts.
“I’m personally going to stay on Twitter until there is really not a reason to stay anymore. I don’t know what the future holds, I’m kind of hoping for some sort of miracle,” one user said said. “For now, I won’t be going anywhere.”
The Horn editorial team and the Associated Press contributed to this article.