The company announced it would appoint the billionaire, its new majority stakeholder, to its board of directors on Tuesday morning.
Musk has been a frequent critic of Twitter’s policies, arguing that it has moved too far away from the principles of free speech. He disclosed Monday that he had acquired a 9.2% stake in the company.
Progressive activists worry his position on the board will lead to a loosening of restrictions they find vital.
Aram Sinnreich, chair of communications studies at American University, said, “The problem is that we are engaged in a worldwide effort to understand how best to use the internet as a platform for democracy, and Elon Musk has been, for a variety of reasons that I can only guess at, has been very critical of those kinds of efforts and espouses a very simplistic political philosophy that will invariably lead to greater degrees of social inequity and present obstacles to the democratic process.”
Republicans responded in the opposite way. Representative Lauren Boebert (R-CO) tweeted, “Now that @ElonMusk is Twitter’s largest shareholder, it’s time to lift the political censorship. Oh… and BRING BACK TRUMP!”
Many other users took to the platform to call for restoring former President Donald Trump’s account, though it remains to be seen exactly how much influence Musk actually wields.
Twitter sought to reassure critics in a statement where it emphasized that its policy decisions are “not determined by the Board or shareholders” and that the company has “no plans to reverse any policy decisions.”