Twitter’s top lawyer reassures staff and cries during Musk buyout meeting
Twitter spokesperson Trenton Kennedy said Gadde got emotional while discussing the impact of her team and the pride she feels in them.
Sources confirmed that she spoke at length about how proud she was of the work done by her team and encouraged the employees, urging them to keep striving to do a good job at the company.
Gadde, who has been with Twitter since 2011, is the senior executive responsible for overseeing Twitter’s trust and safety, legal and public policy functions. She is seen internally as Twitter’s “moral authority” and the executive charged with dealing with sensitive issues like harassment and dangerous speech.
Gadde played a leading role in brokering the deal between Twitter and Musk, according to a person familiar with the dynamic.
She guided Twitter through some of its most contentious political battles, including decisions to remove all political advertising and fire former President Donald Trump from the platform following the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill. Hill – a position that has earned him devoted fans within Twitter, as well as a large contingent of right-wing critics.
But as news of Musk’s formal takeover broke, political and legal staffers worried at the meeting about what his leadership might mean for Twitter’s carefully crafted online speech rules, including its policies against hate speech, disinformation and even political advertising.
“I think everyone on Twitter, regardless of how they feel about the news, feels thoughtful and emotional,” one Twitter employee said. “We’ve been through a lot over the last two years and I think it’s generally been a lot of thought-provoking. I think it was more of an acknowledgment of the uncertainty that everyone is feeling right now.
Gadde and Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Musk’s acquisition, which puts the world’s richest man at the helm of one of its most influential social media networks, is one of the biggest activist takeovers of a listed company. stock Exchange.
Musk called on Twitter to truly embrace free speech and advocated for the open source of Twitter’s algorithm and the removal of all spam bots from the platform. More importantly, Musk signaled that he supports a considerable relaxation of the company’s content moderation policies, suggesting that it should only remove content if required by law. It would be a huge game-changer for the company, which has spent years creating elaborate guidelines to reduce the amount of vitriolic and threatening content on its platform.
Gadde herself has been a strong advocate for Twitter’s policies to protect its most vulnerable users while protecting free speech – a position that is at odds with Musk’s.
“I am often inspired by the vigorous debates on controversial issues that occur on Twitter, but I have also been seriously disturbed by the plight of some of our users who are completely overwhelmed by those who attempt to silence healthy discourse at name of free speech,” Gadde wrote in a 2015 Washington Post op-ed. “Sometimes it takes the form of hate speech in tweets directed at women or minority groups; at others it takes the form of threats aimed at intimidating those who take a stand on issues.
Gadde holds one of the most controversial positions on Twitter: his teams decide how to moderate content. This made her a target of right-wing criticism, particularly when Twitter blocked distribution of a New York Post article about President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, in 2020. She faced a new wave of criticism after multiple reports confirmed she was behind the decision to ban Trump from Twitter.
“No matter what we do, we’ve been accused of bias,” she told Bloomberg News in 2020. “Leaving content in, deleting content — it’s become pretty much background noise .”
It’s not yet clear what Musk’s acquisition will mean for Twitter — and for Gadde’s future with the company. Executives meeting with their bare hands on Monday clashed when employees asked what Musk’s leadership would mean for Twitter’s policies.
During his team meeting, Gadde addressed similar concerns. And several employees left the debriefing with a renewed sense of loyalty to her.
“If you look up the word ‘inspirational’ in the dictionary, you’ll find a photo of @vijaya,” tweeted a senior public policy associate Kennedy O’Brien.
“Grateful as always for your leadership @vijaya – couldn’t feel luckier,” tweeted Rojo PathTwitter Responsible for Public Policy, Government and Philanthropy in Spain.
Many progressives have expressed deep concerns about Musk’s decision to buy Twitter.
The billionaire entrepreneur has “used the platform to attack people, often throwing childish broadsides at anyone he doesn’t like or disagrees with,” said Jessica González, co -CEO of progressive technology advocacy group Free Press. “And he has regularly rallied a slew of loyal fans on Twitter to follow his lead with more vicious threats and intimidation.”
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