Elon Musk Invited to UK Parliament to Talk Twitter Acquisition

London's calling! How will the incoming Twitter owner respond?

Katie Collins Senior European Correspondent
Katie a UK-based news reporter and features writer. Officially, she is CNET's European correspondent, covering tech policy and Big Tech in the EU and UK. Unofficially, she serves as CNET's Taylor Swift correspondent. You can also find her writing about tech for good, ethics and human rights, the climate crisis, robots, travel and digital culture. She was once described a "living synth" by London's Evening Standard for having a microchip injected into her hand.
Katie Collins
2 min read
Elon Musk in a tuxedo with white bow tie

Elon Musk could testify in front of UK lawmakers.

Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

UK lawmakers have invited incoming owner of Twitter Elon Musk to testify in front of a parliamentary committee about his plans for the social media company. Member of Parliament and Chair of Parliament's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee Julian Knight issued the invite in an open letter on Wednesday.

The committee, which scrutinizes policy making around social media, among other topics, wants to discuss Musk's proposed acquisition of Twitter and the changes he plans to make. In his letter, Knight listed as topics for discussion including Musk's intention to roll out verification for all users, greater transparency around bots and spam accounts, and the need to balance civil liberties like freedom of expression with tackling online harms

Musk, who already runs Tesla and SpaceX, will have his hands full with his new acquisition, which was announced at the end of April. Twitter's decision to accept his bid has resulted in a wide range of reactions, from celebration to despair. But above all else, most Twitter users have been asking what Musk's ownership will mean for the future of the social media company. While he has floated some ideas, we'll have to wait until his takeover is complete to understand the full implications, assuming the deal gets final approval from shareholders.

In his letter, Knight suggested that speaking with UK lawmakers would provide an opportunity for Musk to address any critiques of the takeover in a public forum (although one could argue he's been doing this daily on Twitter since the deal was announced).

"At a time when social media companies face the prospect of tighter regulations around the world, we're keen to learn more about how Mr Musk will balance his clear commitment to free speech with new obligations to protect Twitter's users from online harms," said Knight in a statement. "Appearing before the committee will give Mr Musk an ideal opportunity to set out his proposals for Twitter in more depth and we would look forward to welcoming him."

Musk has yet to respond to the invitation publicly, so it's unclear whether he'll make an appearance in front of the committee -- or whether, like fellow tech leader Mark Zuckerberg, he will dodge any attempts to pin him down for questioning at all costs.