Former Twitter CEO Dings Elon Musk for Attacks on Twitter’s Top Lawyer

Former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo appeared to deliver a terse message to the company’s new overlord, Elon Musk, on Wednesday: “Bullying is not leadership.”

Musk spent part of his day publicly attacking one of his new hires on the platform he announced he would buy two days earlier, drawing condemnation from a range of users of Twitter and incited his hordes of diehard fans to hurl verbal abuse at him.

“What’s going on? You’re making an executive of the company you just bought the target of harassment and threats,” Costolo, who ran Twitter from 2010 to 2015, wrote in a direct response to one of the Musk’s tweets.

Musk, the world’s richest man, had battled with Twitter’s top lawyer, Vijaya Gadde, who has been with the company for more than a decade and has served as a force for change in recent years on a platform. -form long plagued by verbal abuse and misinformation. . She played a pivotal role in Twitter’s decision to ban former President Donald Trump, CNN reported last year.

On Tuesday, right-wing political commentator Saagar Enjeti called Gadde Twitter “the best censorship advocate” for restricting the spread of a story on the laptop of the first member of the Hunter Biden family. Musk responded directly to Enjeti, calling the decision “incredibly inappropriate.”

Gadde reportedly showed emotion during a virtual meeting with her team on Monday when she expressed concern about the direction the company was headed under Musk’s leadership.

On Wednesday afternoon, Musk posted an image criticizing Gadde using footage from an episode of Joe Rogan’s podcast in which Gadde appeared and spent time defending the content moderation policies she helped shape. . His tweet alleged that Gadde had pursued policies that betrayed his “leftist bias”.

In the Joe Rogan episode, released in 2019, Gadde defended the site’s policy against misinterpreted transgender people, citing research on suicide rates in the community.

Musk is expected to relax the rules on what people can post on Twitter, which would likely increase the amount of hate speech on the site. Like Gadde, many Twitter staffers are said to be concerned about how Musk will run the platform.

He addressed the controversy indirectly in another tweet late Wednesday afternoon: “For Twitter to earn the public’s trust, it must be politically neutral, which effectively means upsetting the far right and the far left alike.” But he did not specify the kinds of “life-changing” decisions he would make.

New York Times podcaster Kara Swisher, a longtime tech journalist, provided a dark answer to Costolo’s question about Musk’s motivation for publicly disparaging an employee.

“What’s going on: he’s trying to get people to leave and that’s a heinous way to do it,” Swisher said. “He’d rather they quit than pay them.”

Gadde has not spoken publicly about Musk’s attacks. Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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