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Elon Musk pushes back after AOC blows up Twitter’s paid ‘free speech’ plan

Twitter owner Elon Musk, left, at the Met Gala in New York on May 2, 2022; Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, right, during a press conference in Washington, DC on April 7, 2022. Musk pushed back on Wednesday after Ocasio-Cortez criticized him for the recent announcement of a ” subscription plan” on Twitter.
Left: Alexi Rosenfeld/GC Images, Right: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York has denounced Elon Musk for encouraging ‘free speech’ on Twitter while offering an $8-a-month ‘blue check’ plan, prompting the billionaire to jokingly demand that she “pays 8 dollars”.

Musk, who took ownership and control of Twitter last week, has faced backlash amid fears his stance as a ‘free speech absolutist’ could allow misinformation to spread across the platform. -form. His plan to offer users a paid “verification” option, which includes “priority” for subscribers, has raised further concerns that the plan will allow misinformation and stifle speech for those who don’t pay.

Ocasio-Cortez mocked Musk’s paid plan in a tweet on Tuesday night, while suggesting he was trying to trick Twitter users into believing that payment is required for free speech.

“Lmao at a Billionaire Seriously Trying to Sell People the Idea That ‘Free Speech’ Is Actually an $8/Month Subscription Plan”, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

Musk responded to Ocasio-Cortez on Wednesday, Tweeter, “Your feedback is appreciated, pay $8 now.” Musk pinned the tweet to his Twitter profile shortly after.

The response from Twitter’s new owner was shared and backed by the likes of Donald Trump Jr., who accused Ocasio-Cortez of being unable to “grasp the basic concept of tax breaks/incentives” and depriving New York more than 25,000 new jobs by opposing the company’s plan to build a new headquarters in the city.

“I’m sure she shouldn’t be giving financial advice to anyone, let alone Elon Musk,” Trump Jr said. tweeted.

The Democratic congresswoman defended her opposition to the Amazon plan at the time, saying she saved the city “billions” in “distributions” and “corporate gifts”.

Before Musk responds, venture capitalist and Musk associate David Sacks replied to Ocasio-Cortez’s criticism of the Twitter subscription plan by asking why newspapers love The New York Times and The Washington Post weren’t “free”, adding that “their billionaire owners should stop being greedy and give us these products for free”.

“Are you seriously equating an app where people are torrenting racial slurs to a fast-paced clip with The New York Times,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted in response, alongside a “rolling on the floor laughing” emoji.

“Also, for your information, the old newspapers actually care about verifying newsworthy sources,” she continued. “And they don’t charge their journalists/creators for ‘priority’ placement.”

In a sequel TweeterOcasio-Cortez went on to call the “billion dollar ownership of our news sources” a “legitimate issue.”

“I hope you use your power to stop private equity from gutting local newsrooms while also supporting nonprofit and cooperative media,” she told Sacks.

Musk’s plan for paid verification has received backlash from both ends of the political spectrum, including some who have expressed concerns that the option could facilitate the impersonation of public figures or of public organizations.

Twitter’s top trending topic on Wednesday was #RatVerified, which pokes fun at the plan by encouraging people to place rat emojis next to their usernames to become “rat verified” for free.

Musk’s stance on “free speech” and misinformation came under fire on Tuesday, when #TrumpIsDead followed false and often nonsensical reports claiming former President Donald Trump had died.

Newsweek reached out to Ocasio-Cortez’s office and Twitter for comment.


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