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Senator calls for investigation into Saudi Twitter ownership

Saudi Prince Alwaleed is the second-largest stakeholder in Elon Musk's Twitter, which has earned him criticism from Sen. Murphy. But the prince’s investment in the company is not new.
The Twitter logo is seen on the exterior of Twitter headquarters in San Francisco, California, on Oct. 28, 2022.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) today called for an investigation into a Saudi prince’s ownership of Twitter. 

Murphy said he is requesting the Senate’s Committee on Foreign Investment investigate the “national security implications of Saudi Arabia's purchase of Twitter.” 

“We should be concerned that the Saudis, who have a clear interest in repressing political speech and impacting US politics, are now the second-largest owner of a major social media platform,” Murphy tweeted

“If this deal goes through, two of the most important US social media platforms will be owned, in whole or in part, by China (TikTok) and Saudi Arabia (Twitter),” he added. 

What it means: Last week, Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal announced he would roll over his stock shares in Twitter into a private stake in the company. This follows space mogul billionaire Elon Musk finalizing his purchase of Twitter, turning the social media giant from a publicly traded company to a private-owned one. 

Know more: Talal's investment in Twitter is not new. The prince has owned part of Twitter since he first purchased stock in the company back in 2011. By 2015, he owned 5%. 

Murphy expanded on his concerns in a letter today, also expressing concern about the government of Qatar now owning a stake in Twitter. 

"Saudi Arabia is one of the most repressive countries in the world, with little to no tolerance for free expression," wrote Murphy. 

Many on the American left have been critical of Musk’s purchase of Twitter. The eccentric billionaire has repeatedly stated his intention to bring back “free speech” to the platform. 

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