- Elon Musk linked Twitter criticism with firm lawyer Vijaya Gadde, who has been concerned in content material moderation choices.
- Former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo accused Musk in a tweet of making an attempt to make Gadde a goal for harassment.
- Musk is making an attempt to scare off workers to chop prices, NYT op-ed podcaster Kara Swisher mentioned in a tweet.
Elon Musk tweeted two references this week to previous content-moderation choices made by one among its prime executives, which prompted pushback from the corporate’s former CEO, in addition to hypothesis that he is making an attempt to drive higher-paid workers to give up the corporate he’s set to personal.
On Tuesday, Politico reported a narrative on Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s prime lawyer, which mentioned her standing as a lightning rod for conservative criticism, in addition to her position in choices like banning the account of President Donald Trump.
She turned a bigger goal after firm determined to restrict content material associated to the 2020 New York Post story about President Biden’s son, Hunter, the outlet famous. (Gadde was the one who defined the corporate’s choice to vary that coverage a couple of days in a while her Twitter account).
Twitter additionally had suspended the New York Post’s account at the moment.
“Suspending the Twitter account of a major news organization for publishing a truthful story was obviously incredibly inappropriate,” Musk wrote within the reply.
—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 26, 2022
Musk’s tweet prompted a wave of racist on-line assaults in opposition to Gadde, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.
“Some used expletives or racist slurs referring to Gadde’s Indian heritage, including words like ‘curry,’ and references to India’s caste system,” the outlet wrote.
A day later, Musk tweeted a meme that appeared to reference a Joe Rogan podcast on which Gadde appeared in March 2019 to defend Twitter’s content material moderation insurance policies.
The tweets drew the ire of former CEO Dick Costolo, who tweeted his personal reply:
—dick costolo (@dickc) April 27, 2022
But some observers questioned whether or not Musk’s actual motivation behind the tweets was monetary.
Twitter workers quitting would make it simpler to chop labor prices, which is required due to his debt-financed acquisition of Twitter, New York Times opinion author Kara Swisher mentioned in a tweet Wednesday, quoting Costolo’s reply to Musk.
—Kara Swisher (@karaswisher) April 27, 2022
Musk and Twitter finalized a deal Monday for him to amass the corporate for $44 billion. Musk needed to put up $21 billion and use his shares in Tesla as collateral, and in the event that they fell a certain quantity, he might need to place up extra money. He’ll additionally must pay about $1 billion in curiosity funds annually.
Considering all of that, and that Twitter didn’t have optimistic money stream final 12 months, “it’s one of the riskiest deals we’ll come across,” mentioned Joshua White, assistant professor of finance at Vanderbilt University and former monetary economist on the SEC.
Though Musk has mentioned he isn’t apprehensive concerning the “economics” of shopping for Twitter, theoretically he nonetheless wants to finish curiosity funds and pay again loans.
He might be contemplating chopping labor prices to assist do this, White agreed.
“He might be hoping some of those employees leave ahead of time,” that means Twitter would not must pay them severance, though it is fairly inconceivable to know if that’s his intention, White added.
General workers additionally appear to be shaken by the quickly shifting deal. “Any sense that an exodus is building is correct,” a former Twitter worker instructed Insider on Tuesday.
If Musk is hoping to encourage workers to go away, past what is likely to be anticipated with a altering of the guard, it could be a serious danger, White famous.
“We’re in the tightest labor market in decades,” he mentioned. “If he runs off some portion of the workforce, that’s not something you could just replace overnight.”
Twitter did not reply to a request for remark.