Prominent Democrats are reacting to news that Tesla CEO Elon Musk has purchased Twitter by railing against the influence of billionaires in society.
"Elon Musk and a handful of billionaires now have dangerous influence over the most powerful online platforms," Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey tweeted Tuesday. "They can't be trusted, and self-regulation has failed. We must pass laws to protect privacy and promote algorithmic justice for internet users, especially for kids."
Markey was widely criticized on Twitter for the post with many conservatives mocking the phrase "algorithmic justice."
"What is "algorithmic justice??" Conservative radio host Dana Loesch tweeted. "Where was this interest when Twitter’s algorithims were manipulated to suppress conservatives’s accounts?"
Sen. Elizabeth Warren joined her Massachusetts Democratic colleague in criticizing billionaires following the Musk Twitter takeover.
"This deal is dangerous for our democracy," Warren tweeted. "Billionaires like Elon Musk play by a different set of rules than everyone else, accumulating power for their own gain. We need a wealth tax and strong rules to hold Big Tech accountable."
Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley referred to Musk as an "oligarch.""
"It’s always a concern when an oligarch may be owning the town square," Merkley said. "I think we do need to pay a lot of attention to how it’s managed."
Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton, echoed Merekley’s fear of oligarchs.
"A handful of billionaires now have unprecedented control over banking, the food we eat, the health care we can access and, now, the information we receive," Reich tweeted. "This is what oligarchy looks like."
Twitter shares rose over 5% on Monday after the company's board unanimously accepted Musk’s $44 billion offer to take the company private.
"Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated," Musk said in a statement. "I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential – I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it."