Russia ‘will wait and see’ what Musk does to Twitter’s ‘free speech’ policies

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ELON Musk’s tentative acquisition of Twitter is having global repercussions as Russia weighs whether to reinstate the platform’s use in the country.

“Let’s see what will happen under the new owner,” Dmitry Peskov, a diplomat representing The Kremlin, told reporters.

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Musk attributes the conflict in Ukraine to the actions of fewCredit: Twitter/@elonmusk

Musk has been more than blunt regarding his approach to censorship.

He’s called himself a “free speech absolutist” and many employees are concerned with the expected rollback of their moderation techniques.

Relations between Russia and Twitter started to sour in 2017 when the platform banned advertising from Kremlin-backed networks – Twitter had determined that Russian media played a controversial hand in the 2016 Presidential election and took action.

“Russia’s attitude towards this company is based on the actions of this company, on the censorship of this company…on the distortion of information, on the manipulation of information,” Peskov said, describing the antagonism Russian leaders feel toward Twitter.

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Musk acting on his broad interpretation of free speech and fundamentally altering Twitter’s policies could soften Russia’s harsh judgement – but The Kremlin is at least playing pessimistic.

“The question is whether a truly fully fledged free palette of different points of view is now possible in Western social networks,” The Wall Street Journal quoted Peskov as saying. “We doubt this.”

Musk has acted in the interests of Ukraine since the conflict began, perhaps to the angst of the Russians – he saw to the quick delivery of Starlink terminals to keep the internet open to the Ukrainian people but refused to block Russian media on those servers.

Peskov, on the other hand, is a Specially Designated National that is sanctioned by the White House – The US Department of the Treasury says Peskov’s assets are blocked and “U.S. persons are generally prohibited from dealing with [him].”

The Biden administration considers Peskov as “the lead propagandist and spokesperson of the Russian Federation.”

Meanwhile, the sale of Twitter to Musk is not final.

The deal includes a two-way termination fee in which the party that backs out owes the other $1billion.

The terms explicitly state that “any acts of God, force majeure events, natural disasters, terrorism, cyberattack, data breach, armed hostilities” and other calamities are not justifiable causes for either side to renege on the agreement.

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The deal is expected to take about three to six months to finalize, according to The New York Times.

In the end, Musk wants Twitter, not another billion dollars.

Musk refused to block Russian media from Starlink servers a month before buying into Twitter

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Musk refused to block Russian media from Starlink servers a month before buying into TwitterCredit: Twitter/@elonmusk

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