Grassley wants Twitter to be a ‘free speech haven’

Following Elon Musk’s deal to buy Twitter, Sen. Chuck Grassley expressed his support for Musk’s efforts to loosen content moderation on the platform.


Gabby Drees

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, speaks in a Daily Iowan interview at the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, April 5, 2022.

Emily Delgado, Politics Reporter

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, applauded billionaire CEO Elon Musk’s efforts to loosen content moderation policies and allow more speech on Twitter.

On Tuesday, Musk, whose net worth is estimated to be more than $250 billion, reached a deal with Twitter to purchase the company for $44 billion.

Grassley tweeted on Wednesday saying he hopes Twitter will become a “free speech haven.”

“I like what Musk is trying to do to promote free speech,” Grassley said during his weekly press call.

As a private company, Twitter isn’t bound by the First Amendment. Twitter’s policies to combat misinformation and hate speech have drawn criticism, often from conservatives, who suggest the site’s content moderation targets conservative opinions. Most notably, former President Donald Trump was banned from the platform following the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

Grassley said Musk’s efforts to buy Twitter will not affect his usage of the platform. Currently, Grassley has over 700,000 followers on Twitter and has tweeted over 13,000 times in the past 15 years.

Grassley is known for his frequent use of Twitter, posting cryptic shorthand tweets that occasionally go viral, like when he tweeted about visiting the Windsor Heights Dairy Queen for “u kno what” and when he informed his followers, “If u lost ur pet pidgin /it’s dead in front yard my Iowa farm.”

“Musk comes along and he wants to enhance free speech in the United States. A First Amendment right,” Grassley said.

Musk has criticized Twitter’s content moderation policies and said he wants Twitter’s policies to be in line with speech laws.

Grassley said the First Amendment is a part of the constitution to protect people’s opinions.

While Grassley has also criticized Twitter’s policies, he said he doesn’t think he’s been censored on the platform.

“I don’t think I’m going to have to worry about being shut out ever and I don’t know whether I have ever been shut out of Twitter,” Grassley said.

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