With the U.S. midterm elections less than two weeks away, Elon Musk's $44 billion acquisition of Twitter could unleash a fresh wave of election misinformation just as voters are casting ballots that will determine control of Congress for the next two years, political and media experts say.

Musk, the CEO of electric car maker Tesla, says he is a free speech "absolutist" and has vowed to loosen the reins on chatter within the social media app, which in recent years had striven to limit toxic content it viewed as dangerously false or discriminatory even as its global influence has widened.

Musk sought to address fears on Thursday, telling Twitter advertisers that the platform "cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences!" On Friday, the entrepreneur announced he would form a "content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints."