Speed Reads

Put the R in "Twitter"

Elon Musk encourages 'independent-minded voters' to elect Republicans

Embattled Twitter CEO Elon Musk on Monday encouraged his more than 114 million followers on the platform to vote for Republicans in Tuesday's midterm elections, claiming that "shared power curbs the worst excesses of both parties." 

Musk's party endorsement is his most overtly political action since taking the helm of the social media juggernaut just over a week earlier. The message comes one day after Twitter hastily pulled back on plans to launch a paid verification service, which critics feared could lead to confusion and misinformation on Election Day. Instead, the company said it would debut the new user tier after the midterms. 

Musk's tenure has been marked by a sharp uptick in abusive and bigoted content on the site, prompting a number of businesses to pull advertising from the site. In a brief back and forth with conservative activist Tom Fitton on Monday, Musk indicated he would pursue legal action against companies boycotting the platform. 

Between the conversation with Fitton and his call for a Republican congress, Musk also shared a meme of a mid-20th century soldier and carrier pigeons, joking that these were the pre-internet equivalent of "unread messages." As many users on Twitter quickly pointed out, the man pictured in the photograph appears to be a Nazi soldier.