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Twitter Employees' Meltdown Over Elon Musk Takeover Confirms What We Already Knew

Patrick Pleul/Pool via AP, File

Unless you’ve been living in a cave over the past week, you have witnessed the full-blown meltdown occurring on the left in response to the news that Tesla CEO Elon Musk has bought Twitter. High-profile progressives have been wringing their hands at the thought that the social media company will stop suppressing conservative views expressed on its platform.

But it is not only members of the chattering class engaging in this mass freakout. The company’s employees are also deeply concerned at the possibility that they will no longer be empowered to ensure left-wing voices maintain supremacy over political discourse on the platform.

Project Veritas recently released an audio recording of a meeting between members of Twitter’s leadership and its employees in which they discussed the ramifications of Musk taking over the organization. Board member Bret Taylor, CEO Parag Agrawal, and other leaders fielded questions from employees regarding the change in ownership and the anxiety was palpable.

Taylor attempted to assuage employees’ concerns and explained why the decision was made to sell the company to Musk. “I also just want to acknowledge all the emotions of today. It is an emotional day. I want to acknowledge it,” he said.

“By law, we are required to act in the best interest of our shareholders,” Taylor explained.

In an attempt to address worries that the social media platform’s censorship practices would remain largely intact, Agrawal affirmed that the current “content moderation” policies are “fundamental to keeping Twitter safe and growing.”

The CEO explained that they will “be finding a way to have Elon talk with all of you at the soonest possible opportunity.”

Leslie Berland, Twitter’s CMO, said:

 “Elon made it clear in public that a large part of the reason he bought the platform was because of our moderation policies and disagreements in how we deal with health. This puts Twitter service and Trust and Safety as well as anybody who cares about health on the platform in a very difficult position.”

Agrawal acknowledged the supposed difficulty with having a large platform while still making users feel “safe.” He said:

“I believe Twitter grows as a service, allows for more people to use the product and have a better experience because we’re able to make the conversation on Twitter be safe because we have built tools, processes for people to be able to feel safe and control their experiences. I believe that there is a lot of work we have to do to continue making that better. Sometimes that means more thoughtful moderation. Sometimes that means making things simpler. Sometimes that means changing product incentives to be able to solve problems through products sometimes instead of policies.”

It was also reported that Vijaya Gadde, the head of Twitter Trust & Safety became teary-eyed when discussing how the future of the company’s moderation censorship policies is not clear. She was instrumental in the decision to ban former President Donald Trump from the platform under the pretense that he was responsible for inciting the violence that occurred during the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol building.

Employees of the company have expressed concerns that many of their colleagues have moved far to the left. They indicated that those supporting Musk’s takeover are uncomfortable with making their opinions known.

They are not wrong. According to an Open Secrets report, 90 percent of Twitter’s employees who made donations to political candidates supported Democrats.

Musk commented on the furor over his takeover of the social media platform. “The extreme antibody reaction from those who fear free speech says it all,” he tweeted.

The Tesla CEO then explained his definition of free speech, as it relates to Twitter discourse:

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.

Right now, it is not even clear what Musk will do when he starts calling the shots at Twitter. While many on the right are excited at the prospect of his being in charge of a company that has suppressed their opinions for years, we haven’t yet seen how he is going to handle the speech issue. Nevertheless, progressives are clearly terrified about the idea that there might be a level playing field for people with views that run contrary to their own. Hopefully, Musk follows through on his intention to make this happen and it doesn’t just end up being more of the same.

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