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Elon Musk responds to Biden admin ‘speech police’ board – here’s what he said

Elon Musk. (Jerome Adamstein/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
April 29, 2022

Billionaire SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk said this week that the Biden administration’s new “misinformation governance board” created to police speech in the U.S. is “discomforting.” The new anti-free speech effort was revealed just days after Twitter announced it had accepted Musk’s $44 billion buyout.

On Thursday, comedian and podcast host Steven Crowder tweeted about the new board, which was established under the Department of Justice to police “misinformation” and “disinformation.”

“The government is creating a misinformation governance board. Who else did something like that? Oh I remember, the Nazi’s,” Crowder tweeted. “And there’s some data showing some interesting things going on post-@elonmusk’s Twitter takeover!”

Musk responded to Crowder’s tweet, writing, “Discomforting.”

On Friday, the tech executive responded to a similar post by Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, who tweeted, “’Ministry of Truth’ is trending because Biden admin appointed a radical leftist to run a censorship board in the Department of Homeland Security a few days after @ElonMusk purchase of @Twitter announced.”

“This is messed up,” Musk replied.

Fitton was referring to Nina Jankowicz, a misinformation fellow at the Wilson Center, who was tapped to lead the “misinformation” board.

Jankowicz tweeted that she was “honored to be serving in the Biden Administration [DHS] and helping shape our counter-disinformation efforts.” She also claimed a “HUGE focus” of the board is to “maintain the Dept’s commitment to protecting free speech, privacy, civil rights, & civil liberties.”

Musk has repeatedly expressed a dedication to free speech. After Twitter announced his purchase of the platform, Musk said in a statement that “free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy” and referred to Twitter as the “digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.”

The sale of Twitter yielded both positive and negative responses, but Musk noted that most of the negativity was directed at the prospect of Twitter becoming a true free speech platform.

“The extreme antibody reaction from those who fear free speech says it all,” he tweeted.

“By ‘free speech’, I simply mean that which matches the law. I am against censorship that goes far beyond the law. If people want less free speech, they will ask government to pass laws to that effect,” Musk added in a separate tweet. “Therefore, going beyond the law is contrary to the will of the people.”

Despite a barrage of attacks, Musk maintained his position on free speech.

“I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter,” he wrote, “because that is what free speech means.”