As Elon Musk takes over Twitter, free speech limits examined

As Elon Musk takes over Twitter, free speech limits tested

Mere hours after Elon Musk kicked off a brand new period at Twitter Inc, the billionaire proprietor was deluged with pleas and calls for from banned account holders and world leaders.

The flood of requests underscore the problem the CEO of electrical automotive maker Tesla Inc faces, balancing a promise to revive free speech whereas stopping the platform from descending right into a “hellscape,” as he had vowed in an open letter to advertisers on Thursday.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump, who was completely banned from Twitter over accusations of inciting violence after the Jan. 6, 2021 capitol riots, welcomed the takeover, however stated little a couple of return to Twitter. “I’m very blissful that Twitter is now in sane palms, and can now not be run by Radical Left Lunatics and Maniacs who actually hate our nation.”

Dmitry Medvedev, former Russia president and present deputy chairman of Russia’s Safety Council, tweeted his congratulations: “Good luck @elonmusk in overcoming political bias and ideological dictatorship on Twitter. And give up that Starlink in Ukraine enterprise.”

Others requested Musk to reverse penalties inflicted by the social media platform. In response to @catturd2, an nameless account with 852,000 followers, identified for being a giant supporter of Trump’s election fraud claims, and who stated it was “shadowbanned,” Musk tweeted “I can be digging in additional immediately.”

The editor-in-chief of Russian state-controlled broadcaster RT, Margarita Simonyan, requested Musk to “unban RT and Sputnik accounts and take the shadow ban off mine as nicely?”

The strain is mounting on Musk and Twitter as he’s set to handle the Twitter employees on Friday after closing the deal.

“Hey @ElonMusk, now that you just personal Twitter, will you assist battle again towards Trudeau’s on-line censorship invoice C-11?” tweeted Canada Proud, a company working to vote out Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“First I’ve heard,” Musk responded in a tweet on Friday.

Learn Additionally

Elon Musk fires Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal How it started how it ended
Elon Musk fires CEO Parag Agrawal CFO Ned Segal and legal affairs and policy chief Vijaya Gadde


A number of staff who spoke with Reuters on Friday stated there had been no communication from administration about what occurs subsequent.

Musk was anticipated to handle staff on Friday, however the staff stated that they had not obtained any discover by the late afternoon.

Two sources aware of the matter stated Musk’s groups have been investigating Twitter’s code and asking questions on how facets of the platform work.

Musk appeared to have joined the corporate’s Slack channel by Friday, based on a screenshot seen by Reuters.

Musk additionally tweeted on Friday that Twitter will type a “content material moderation council with broadly numerous viewpoints,” and that no main selections on moderation or account reinstatements can be made earlier than it convenes.

Regardless of an attraction to advertisers on Thursday that he hoped to make Twitter “probably the most revered promoting platform on the earth,” no less than one main automaker – GM – stated it quickly paused its promoting and was working to “perceive the course of the platform below their new possession.”

Workers additionally continued to worry about the way forward for their jobs. Fewer than 10% of 266 Twitter staff who participated in a ballot on messaging app Blind anticipated to nonetheless have their jobs in three months. Blind permits staff to air grievances anonymously after they join with company emails.

Musk fired Twitter Chief Government Parag Agrawal, Chief Monetary Officer Ned Segal and authorized affairs and coverage chief Vijaya Gadde, based on individuals aware of the matter. He had accused them of deceptive him and Twitter buyers over the variety of faux accounts on the platform.

Agrawal and Segal have been in Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters when the deal closed and have been escorted out, the sources added.

Musk, who additionally runs rocket firm SpaceX, plans to develop into Twitter’s interim CEO, based on an individual aware of the matter and following an earlier report by Reuters. Musk additionally plans to scrap everlasting bans on customers, Bloomberg stated, citing an individual aware of the matter.

Twitter, Musk and the executives didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.


Earlier than closing the deal, Musk walked into Twitter’s headquarters on Wednesday with a giant grin and a porcelain sink, subsequently tweeting “let that sink in.” He modified his Twitter profile description to “Chief Twit.”

European regulators additionally reiterated previous warnings that, below Musk’s management, Twitter should nonetheless abide by the area’s Digital Companies Act, which levies hefty fines on firms if they don’t management unlawful content material.

“In Europe, the chook will fly by our EU guidelines,” EU trade chief Thierry Breton tweeted on Friday morning.

European Parliament lawmaker and civil rights proponent Patrick Breyer prompt individuals search for options the place privateness is a precedence.

“Twitter already is aware of our personalities dangerously nicely as a result of its pervasive surveillance of our each click on. Now this data can be falling into Musk’s palms.”

Musk has indicated he sees Twitter as a basis for making a “tremendous app” that gives all the pieces from cash transfers to purchasing and ride-hailing.

However Twitter is struggling to interact its most energetic customers who’re important to the enterprise. These “heavy tweeters” account for lower than 10% of month-to-month total customers however generate 90% of all tweets and half of world income.

Musk will face a problem constructing income “on condition that the controversial opinions he seems to wish to give extra of a free rein to are sometimes unpalatable to advertisers,” stated Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Susannah Streeter.

As information of the deal unfold, some Twitter customers have been fast to flag their willingness to stroll away.

“I can be blissful to depart in a heartbeat if Musk, nicely, acts as all of us count on him to,” stated a person with the @mustlovedogsxo account.


Supply hyperlink

Leave a Reply