Elon Musk has faced questions about how he will police content on Twitter when he took control of the social media company on Friday following a turbulent $44 billion takeover.
With concerns already raised about how he will handle the slew of Twitter censorship issues, Musk promised to form a panel with “broadly diverse views” and said “there will be no content decisions.” any major or reinstatement of accounts occurred prior to convening by that board”.
He then added: “Just to be clear, we have yet to make any changes to Twitter’s content moderation policies.”
On Friday, Musk was accompanied at Twitter’s headquarters by his personal attorney and trusted lieutenant Alex Spiro, who is focusing on assessing legal and policy issues at the company, during when Musk was evaluating how the engineering and product departments were performing. situation.
David Sacks, a venture capitalist and close associate of Musk, was also in the office this week to support him, the two said. The New York Times first reported on the visits.
But there were some warning signs. General Motors said it has “paused” paid advertising on the platform “as a normal business process with a significant change in communication platforms”, although it will continue to use the site to interact with customers. GM competes with Tesla, Musk’s electric car company.
The US car maker added that it is “interacting with Twitter to understand the direction of their new proprietary platform”.
The announcements come less than 24 hours after Musk, a self-declared “liberalist”, close the deal to sign up for private Twitter at $54.20 a share late Thursday.
Musk has previously said he wants to relax content restrictions and lift bans permanently, raising concerns among some advertisers, which account for most of Twitter’s $5 billion in revenue. that the platform could become a hotspot for maliciousness and abuse.
His moderation board’s announcement comes amid speculation he may have moved to immediately allow banned users to reactivate their accounts, including the former president. America Donald Trump. Twitter deleted Trump’s account in January 2021 for tweets it deemed “highly likely to encourage and inspire” followers to recreate the attack on the US Capitol.
In May, Musk said during a Financial Times conference that banning Trump from the platform was a “mistake”. Trump supporters on Friday urged Musk to reactivate the former president’s account, using the hashtag #bringbacktrump.
Posting on his own platform, Truth Social, Trump said he was “delighted that Twitter is now on hand”. He told Fox News he’s “on the Truth” though he doesn’t rule out returning to Twitter if allowed to do so.
Separately on Friday, in response to a user named Catturd who complained they were “obscured” on the platform – meaning their content was restricted from being visible to others without their knowledge – Musk wrote. that he would “dig deeper today”.
Musk started its Twitter ownership with signature bombshells, fired top executives, including chief executive Parag Agrawal and head of safety Vijaya Gadde, and wrote post on this platform. “[T]He’s been released,” he wrote hours after the deal closed, and changed his public profile to “Chief Twit”.
The reopening of the site with the controversial speech was welcomed by far-right groups but raised fears among others that it would lead to a wave of hate, harassment, misinformation and extremism. It could also lead to backlash from companies on which Twitter depends for advertising.
Musk sent out a tweet to “Twitter Advertisers” on Thursday, saying he wanted the site to be like a “common digital town square” but not a “free-for-all hell scene.” “.
However, a small fraction of users who used the platform to share profanity remained online.
Tesla has led the way in popularizing electric vehicles, a path that GM and other traditional automakers are now spending billions of dollars to follow.
Neither Ford nor Stellantis, formed from the merger of PSA and Fiat Chrysler, could be immediately reached for comment on whether they,
too, will stop advertising.
Twitter’s press team did not respond to any requests for comment on Friday.