Elon Musk's X Could Be Next After TikTok, Says Former House Democrat: 'Not At All A Stretch Of Imagination'

Zinger Key Points
  • Former Democratic Representative Tulsi Gabbard criticized the proposed TikTok ban bill.
  • She called it the “greatest assault on liberty” since the Patriot Act was passed.

Former Democratic Representative Tulsi Gabbard has raised a red flag on the proposed TikTok ban legislation that could have far-reaching implications for freedom of speech and the operations of social media platforms.

What Happened: Gabbard highlighted the potential dangers of the bill, which he believes could grant the U.S. government excessive power over online expression and business operations on the Lex Fridman Podcast.

The bill, which is being expedited through Congress citing national security, would grant the executive branch the authority to determine which social media platforms are acceptable for use by Americans, Gabbard explained.

The legislation would also allow the government to designate individuals with at least 25% financial interest or ownership in a social media platform as being under the influence of a foreign adversary.

This would result in the platform being banned from doing business in the U.S., and the individual being required to divest.

See Also: Elon Musk Says All Nations ‘Above A Certain Per Capita Income’ Are Committing ‘Demographic Suicide’

Gabbard believes that while the ByteDance Ltd.-owned TikTok is being presented as the target of this legislation, it would give the U.S. government powers to misuse it against other social media platforms and businesses.

She explained that one of the targets could be Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk's X, formerly Twitter.

"When you look at Elon Musk, for example, you already have people in the Biden administration, even President Biden himself, implying that Elon Musk's activities need to be investigated."

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She noted that the government could coerce platforms to moderate their behavior, potentially leading to increased internet censorship, or risk being banned.

"The underlying issue here… this is being sold as TikTok and national security, but ultimately, even as Ron Paul said, this is a legislation that's the greatest assault on liberty since the Patriot Act was passed."

Why It Matters: The proposed TikTok ban bill has been a topic of heated debate in recent months. In March, the bill passed a House vote, sparking concerns among influencers and tech leaders about the potential for increased internet censorship.

Musk’s warning comes amid growing bipartisan support for the bill, with figures like venture capitalist David Sacks criticizing the government’s focus on TikTok over other national security risks.

Meanwhile, the bill has also drawn support from some quarters, with figures like startup accelerator Y Combinator co-founder Paul Graham backing the ban on TikTok.

On the other hand, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) argued that the ban is necessary to protect American interests.

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Disclaimer: This content was partially produced with the help of Benzinga Neuro and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

Photos courtesy: Shutterstock and Flickr

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