Elon Musk tweets conspiracy theory about Nancy Pelosi's husband

Elon Musk has promised advertisers that Twitter will not devolve into a “free for all hellscape”. (Susan Walsh/AP)

Elon Musk tweeted a link to an untrue conspiracy about the attack on the husband of Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the US House of Representatives. This happened just days after Musk bought Twitter, which made people worry that the social media site would no longer try to stop spreading false information and hate speech.

Musk's tweet, which he later deleted, linked to an article on the Santa Monica Observer, a fringe website that has said before that Hillary Clinton died on September 11 and was replaced by a body double.

In this case, the article repeated a false claim that the personal life of the speaker's husband, Paul Pelosi, somehow had something to do with an attack on the couple's home in San Francisco last week.

In response to a tweet from Hillary Clinton, Musk did this. In a tweet, she said that Republicans spread "hate and crazy conspiracy theories" and that "it is shocking, but not surprising, that violence is the result."

In response to Clinton's tweet, Musk sent her a link to an article in the Santa Monica Observer and said, "There is a small chance there may be more to this story than meets the eye."

The Los Angeles Times, which is the main source of news in Southern California, where the Observer is based, has said that the Observer is "known for spreading fake news."

Police in San Francisco say that David DePape, the suspect in last week's attack, broke into the Pelosi family's home in Pacific Heights early on Friday (local time) and asked Paul Pelosi, "Where is Nancy?"

The two men fought over a hammer until the police came to the house after getting a 911 call and saw DePape hit Paul Pelosi at least once. DePape was arrested on suspicion of trying to kill someone, hurting an older person, and breaking into a home. On Tuesday, prosecutors plan to file charges.

Police say the attack was "on purpose" and not random, but they haven't said what they think the reason was.

Musk and Clinton had their conversation a day after Twitter's head of safety and integrity, Yoel Roth, tweeted that the company's rules about "slurs" and "hateful conduct" were still in effect.

"The bottom line is that Twitter hasn't changed its rules. Hatred is not welcome here," Roth wrote.

Musk himself said on Friday that he would create a "content moderation council" for Twitter and promised advertisers that the site wouldn't turn into a "free for all hellscape." Musk has also called himself an "absolutist for free speech."

But at least one big advertiser, General Motors, has said it will stop advertising on Twitter while it watches what Musk does with the site.

On Sunday, US Senator Amy Klobuchar said on NBC that she didn't trust Musk to run Twitter.

Klobuchar said, "I think you need some content moderation" when talking about antisemitic conspiracy theories that the suspect in the attack, DePape, posted online.

The senator said, "It was a good sign that Elon Musk said he was going to start a content moderation board. But I keep being worried about that. I just don't think that people should be making money by spreading this false information."

Publish : 2022-10-31 09:13:00

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