Elon Musk may have lost interest in owning Twitter as he’s doing exactly what the deal says he’s not supposed to do — insulting Twitter representatives.
The latest target of Musk’s critical tweets is Twitter’s head of policy, legal and trust, Vijaya Gadde, who is facing harassment from Musk’s followers as a result.
‘Suspending the Twitter account of a major news organization for publishing a truthful story was obviously incredibly inappropriate,’ Musk tweeted in response to conservative journalist Saagar Enjeti who called Gadde Twitter’s ‘top censorship advocate’.
Enjeti claimed she was responsible for temporarily banning links to a New York Post story about President Joe Biden’s son.
The tweet was in response to a screenshot of a Politico article that reported Gadde breaking down in an internal meeting on Monday where she acknowledged ‘significant uncertainties’ about the future of Twitter under Musk.
On Wednesday, Musk went on to directly criticise Gadde by posting a meme referencing her 2019 appearance on the podcast the Joe Rogan Experience. On the show, Gadde denied that Twitter had a left-leaning bias when questioned about Twitter banning certain conservative accounts.
Studies have refuted that Twitter has a left-wing bias, while research from last year even suggested that it’s algorithm amplified more content from right-wing politicians and sources than left-wing accounts.
‘For Twitter to deserve public trust, it must be politically neutral, which effectively means upsetting the far right and the far left equally,’ tweeted Musk right after.
In response to Musk’s tweet, Gadde has been subjected to online harassment in the form of vitriolic and racist tweets against her.
With an 86.3 million Twitter following, Musk’s tweets have a significant sway on markets and his fellow free speech advocates have a tendency to pile on anyone the billionaire criticises.
Current and former Twitter employees have come out in support of Gadde while Musk has still not taken down the tweets in question. Instead he went on to joke about buying Coca-Cola ‘to put the cocaine back in’.
‘Proud of our people who continue to do the work with focus and urgency despite the noise.’ tweeted Twitter’s CEO Parag Agrawal.
Gadde has been spearheading tougher moderation policies at Twitter for a decade and Musk wants to change that. He has made it clear that under him Twitter would see lighter moderation to maintain ‘free speech’.
While Musk wants to protect free speech on Twitter, he seems okay with doing it at the cost of the safety of his own future employees.
Musk’s latest move has people questioning if the billionaire is having cold feet about buying the social media giant.
A new SEC filing released on Wednesday revealed that Musk’s tweets must not ‘disparage the company or any of its representatives’ which he seems to have actively flouted.
The Tesla boss’s merger agreement has a $1 billion breakup fee and his latest barrage of tweets could be a play to get out of the deal.