Twitter’s top lawyer ‘cried’ during team meeting over Elon Musk deal

Musk targetted lawyer over censoring news article on Joe Biden’s son Hunter’s laptop

Elon Musk's Impact on Staff and Shareholders in Twitter Takeover
Leer en Español

Twitter’s top lawyer Vijaya Gadde reportedly got emotional and cried at a company-level staff meeting discussing Tesla chief Elon Musk’s acquisition of the social media platform.

Ms Gadde, Twitter‘s head of legal, policy and trust, is a key executive in the company who was behind decisions such as the banning of political advertising, and the removal of former US president Donald Trump from the platform in the aftermath of the 6 January Capitol riots.

At a recent company-level meeting, Ms Gadde reportedly cried while expressing her concerns about how Twitter could change, Politico reported, citing “three people familiar with the meeting”.

Following news of Ms Gadde’s emotional moment, the Tesla chief targetted the Twitter lawyer over censoring The New York Post’s article related to US president Joe Biden’s son Hunter’s laptop.

“Suspending the Twitter account of a major news organisation for publishing a truthful story was obviously incredibly inappropriate,” Mr Musk said, referring to the lawyer’s move in the run-up to the 2020 US presidential elections.

While Twitter has sought to be a platform where hate speech and harmful content are censored, Mr Musk suggested the platform should only remove content if it is required by law.

“By ‘free speech’, I simply mean that which matches the law. I am against censorship that goes far beyond the law. If people want less free speech, they will ask government to pass laws to that effect. Therefore, going beyond the law is contrary to the will of the people,” the billionaire tweeted on Wednesday.

Twitter’s current chief Parag Agrawal also shared concerns during a recent company-level meeting, adding that he does not “know which direction the platform will go” after the acquisition.

“There is indeed uncertainty about what will happen after the deal closes,” Mr Agrawal told staff according to The Verge.

He also said the question of whether former president Donald Trump would return to the platform would be a question better directed to Mr Musk.

“We don’t have all the answers. This is a period of uncertainty,” he said, according to Business Insider.

With the Tesla titan brandishing free speech as the “bedrock of a functioning democracy”, and calling Twitter the “digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated”, some human rights experts have expressed concerns that hate speech and misinformation on the apps could surge under the ownership of Musk.

“Mr Musk: free speech is wonderful, hate speech is unacceptable. Disinformation, misinformation and hate speech have NO PLACE on Twitter,” US civil rights advocacy group, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said in a statement.

At the recent meeting, Ms Gadde, an executive tasked with handling sensitive issues like harassment and dangerous speech on the platform, reportedly said there are significant uncertainties about the future of the company under Mr Musk’s leadership.

She also reportedly said she was proud of the employees and encouraged them to try and make a positive contribution to Twitter.

The Independent has reached out to Ms Gadde for comment.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in