OPINION | This article contains commentary that reflects the author's opinion.
Elon Musk signaled a warning that the federal government may try to “weaponize” its agencies against Twitter.
Former President Donald Trump is reportedly looking to return to Twitter and Facebook as part of his 2024 campaign. Inside sources say Trump has been crafting his first tweet for weeks and asking others for feedback.
Musk is concerned about how this will affect Twitter. Trump was banned from both platforms following the Capitol incursion in 2021.
Musk tweeted, “It will be interesting to see how the Biden administration reacts to this. They may try to weaponize Federal agencies against Twitter.”
Will be interesting to see how the Biden administration reacts to this.
They may try to weaponize Federal agencies against Twitter.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 18, 2023
Hiawatha Bray from the Boston Globe wrote, “In all, the ‘Twitter Files’ paint a picture of a wide-ranging federal effort to exert control over the editorial policies of a major media company.”
“The feds might be doing the same at other social media companies, such as Facebook and YouTube. And since the U.S. government has the power to make things very unpleasant for companies that resist, the temptation to comply may prove irresistible.”
Bray continued, “It’s all in the name of protecting us from fake news. But when our political leaders set the terms of permissible debate, how will we protect ourselves from them?”
Trump representative Liz Harrington hinted he could return to the social media platforms.
Speaking on the NTD-Epoch Times show “Newsmakers,” Harrington said, “We’ll have to see what happens. I’m not here to make any announcement as of yet.”
She continued, “We do know that Truth Social is doing incredibly well. There’s no shadow banning, there’s no censorship, there are really hardly any bots on the platform.”
“It’s a great platform for free speech. But we will see if [Trump is] going to return to Twitter and use it as an asset for the campaign.”
She added, “I think the more platforms, the better, the more open and free they are, and it is important to reach masses of audiences.”
“Nobody has done it better than President Trump than the way he’s skillfully used not just Twitter but now launching Truth Social, which has been really such a successful and important platform to have more voices involved, so that will continue.”
Harrington stated that the “Twitter Files” showed that the First Amendment “has been under attack.”
Harrington concluded, “President Trump has already laid out his plan to curb the censorship regime — which is exactly what it is — and he’s going to be continuing to take steps to end that as well. We can’t have First Amendment if half the country is not able to speak freely.”