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Elon Musk’s tweets refer to an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory

WASHINGTON — Elon Musk on Sunday tweeted a link to unsubstantiated rumors of an attack on the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, just days after Musk bought Twitter, sparking fears that the social media platform will no longer seek to curb misinformation and hatred

Musk’s tweet, which he later deleted, referenced an article on the Santa Monica Observer website that previously claimed Hillary Clinton died on 9/11 and was replaced by a doppelganger.

In this case, the article recycled the baseless claim that the personal life of Paul Pelosi, the speaker’s husband, somehow played a role in last week’s gunman’s attack at the couple’s San Francisco home, even though there is no evidence to support that claim.

Musk made this in response to Hillary Clinton’s tweet. Her tweet criticized Republicans for generally spreading “hate and crazy conspiracy theories” and said: “It’s shocking but not surprising that violence is the result.”

In response to the tweet, Clinton Musk linked to an article in the Santa Monica Observer and added, “There is a small possibility that there may be more to this story than meets the eye.”

The Los Angeles Times, the dominant news organization in the Southern California area where the Observer is based, said the Observer is “notorious for its fake news.”

San Francisco police said the suspect in last week’s attack, identified as 42-year-old David DePape, broke into the Pelassi family’s Pacific Heights home on Friday and confronted Paul Pelassi, demanding, the AP reported, “Where Nancy? »

The two men struggled over a hammer before officers who responded to a 911 call to the home saw DePape hit Paul Pelosi at least once, police said. DePape was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, elder abuse and burglary. Prosecutors plan to file charges Monday and expect to be arraigned Tuesday.

Police say the attack was “deliberate” and not random, but have not said publicly what they believe is a motive.

The exchange between Musk and Clinton came a day after Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of security and integrity, tweeted that the company’s policy on “insults” and “hateful conduct” was still in place.

“Bottom line: Twitter’s policy hasn’t changed. Hateful behavior has no place here,” Roth wrote.

Shortly after Musk took control of Twitter, some accounts on the platform began tweeting messages ranging from racist slurs to political misinformation such as “Trump won” to find out what Twitter would now tolerate.

Musk himself said on Friday that he would form a “content moderation board” for Twitter and promised advertisers that the site would not turn into a “free-for-all hellscape.” Musk also called himself an “absolutist of freedom of speech.”

But at least one major advertiser, General Motors, has said it will suspend advertising on Twitter while it oversees the platform’s direction under Musk.

Also on Sunday, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that she doesn’t trust Musk to run Twitter.

Referring to anti-Semitic attacks and the QAnon conspiracy theory that have been pushed online by DePape, the suspect in the attack, Klobuchar said, “I think you need to moderate the content.”

“When Elon Musk said now that he was going to create a content moderation board,” the senator said, “that was a good sign. But I continue to be concerned about it. I just don’t think people should be making money from broadcasting this bunch of lies.”


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