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Elon Musk, now perched atop Twitter, urges his followers to vote for Republicans

Krebs: Twitter turmoil creating "very chaotic environment" for midterms
Krebs says Twitter turmoil creating "a very chaotic environment" for midterms 07:14

New Twitter owner Elon Musk is telling his more than 100 million followers on the social media service to cast ballots for Republicans in Tuesday's midterm elections.

In a tweet addressed to "independent-minded voters," the Tesla chief executive advised voting for a Republican Congress, saying that "shared power curbs the worst excesses of both parties."

Musk's political message comes just over a week after he posted a tweet advancing baseless allegations about the recent attack on the husband of House speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat. The tweet was later deleted. Musk on Sunday also tweeted that "Twitter needs to become by far the most accurate source of information about the world. That's our mission."

Since completing his $44 billion purchase of Twitter late last month, Musk has moved swiftly to put his imprint on the struggling company. Along with firing former CEO Parag Agrawal and other top executives, Musk has laid off roughly half the company's workforce, or about 3,700 people, in a move to slash costs.

Musk, who has characterized himself as an advocate for free speech, has also vowed to relax content moderation on the platform after a "council" reviews its policies. On Sunday, he tweeted that Twitter would permanently suspend any account that impersonates another person. Kathy Griffin was among those to lose her Twitter privileges after the comedian and others changed their display names to "Elon Musk."

Twitter employees laid off a week after Elon Musk's takeover 06:24

Yet the takeover has also led a number of major companies to suspend their advertising on Twitter, including Audi, General Mills, GM, Mondelez and Pfizer, amid pressure from human rights groups. Musk on Friday said that has caused a "massive drop" in revenue at the company, whose growth had slowed sharply this year and which continues to lose money. 

Previously, Musk has expressed his desire to make Twitter less reliant on advertising, in part by charging an $8 monthly fee for verification

In another blow for Twitter, a number of celebrities have ditched the platform following Musk's takeover, including Gigi Hadid, Shonda Rhimes, Toni Braxton, Sara Bareilles and Tea Leoni. "Not hanging around for whatever Elon has planned. Bye," screenwriter and producer Rhimes tweeted two days after Musk officially bought the company. 

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