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If looks could kill. Vijaya Gadde staring down Elon Musk at Twitter headquarters on October 28, 2022. Screenshot from YouTube

Musk fires top 3 leftist Twitter chiefs

It was an event which shook the social media world on Thursday. Elon Musk has now – after a protracted back-and-forth – taken over the short news service Twitter, the world's second largest social network after Facebook.

Published: October 30, 2022, 7:12 am

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    His first good deed at the helm of Twitter was to fire the three senior managers at the company who were responsible for blocking Donald Trump’s Twitter account.

    CEO Parag Agrawal, Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal and the notorious censor-in-chief Vijaya Gadde had to pack their bags. According to some sources, one of the three was even escorted out of the building by security staff. Twitter’s “Trust and Safety Council”, essentially its censorship body, had been headed by the woke radical leftist Gadde.

    In response to the firing, at least two top German Social Democrats officials Kevin Kühnert and Saskia Esken cancelled their Twitter accounts.

    Nearly 30 percent of the workers that left Twitter in the past 3 months have gone to Google, Meta or other social platforms. Some 530 workers have left Twitter in the past 90 days — 60 percent more than had left Twitter during the previous quarter.

    Will Trump make a comeback?

    Trump has announced his intention to run for US president again in 2024 during a speech in California. Commenting on Musk’s acquisition of Twitter on 28 October 2022, he announced: “I congratulate Elon on the takeover, many say the change was necessary, the previous director was woke. […] They told me my account will be back on Monday – we’ll see!”

    Trump’s Twitter account had around 90 million followers on the day it was deleted by Vijaya Gadde in January 2021.

    The importance of all social networks, but especially Trump’s favoured Twitter channel, to his successful election campaigns has been immense and not comparable to those of other politicians. Accordingly, with the apparently imminent reactivation of @realdonaldtrump, a significant course is being set these days for the next US presidential election campaign.

    Musk announces new ‘moderation council’

    On Friday, Musk announced that Twitter would be forming “a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints” to regulate content. The council, not Musk, will be deciding who to unban. Musk “intends to do away with permanent bans on users because he doesn’t believe in lifelong prohibitions,” Bloomberg reported on Friday.

    “No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes,” Musk explained.

    “So why did you restore already Kanye West’s account? Twitter should not be a platform to spew racism and antisemitism,” a user with the account titled “Republicans against Trumpism” wanted to know. Kanye West, also known as Ye, has recently made some controversial comments about the power of Jews in the media. A subsequent cancel campaign has been launched against West’s “anti-Semitism”.

    “Ye’s account was restored by Twitter before the acquisition,” Musk responded. “They did not consult with or inform me.” Musk told advertisers in an open letter on Thursday that “Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences!”

    Former Twitter CEOs Jack Dorsey and Parag Agrawal both used the “Trust and Safety Council” to absolve themselves of any responsibility for the mass censorship regime they ran against conservatives.

    Many hope that the new council will rule in favor of free speech instead of against it.

    Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for the Internal Market, early Friday meanwhile threatened Musk, stating that free speech on Twitter would never be permitted in Europe.

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