Twitter’s top lawyer reassures staff and cries during meeting over Musk acquisition

Twitter spokesman Trenton Kennedy said Gadde got emotional as she spoke about the impact of her team and the pride she feels in them.

Sources confirmed that she spoke at length about how proud she is of the work her team has done and offered encouragement to employees, urging them to keep striving to do a good job at the company.

Gadde, who has worked at Twitter since 2011, is the principal executive tasked with overseeing Twitter’s trust, security, legal and public policy functions. She is seen internally as Twitter’s “moral authority” and an executive charged with sensitive issues like harassment and dangerous language.

According to a person familiar with the dynamic, Gadde played a leading role in negotiating the deal between Twitter and Musk.

She has guided Twitter through some of its most contentious political battles, including decisions to remove all political advertising and oust former President Donald Trump from the platform after the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill — a position she deserved loyal fans on Twitter, as well as a large contingent of right critic.

But when news of Musk’s official takeover broke, political and legal staff at the meeting worried about what his leadership might mean for Twitter’s carefully crafted online language rules, including its policies against hate speech, misinformation and even political advertising .

“I think everyone on Twitter feels thoughtful and emotional regardless of how they feel about the news,” said a Twitter contributor. “We’ve been through a lot in the last two years and I think that’s given a lot to think about in general. I think this was more of an acknowledgment of the uncertainty that everyone is feeling right now.”

Gadde and Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Musk acquisition, which puts the world’s richest man at the helm of one of his most influential social media networks, is one of the biggest activist takeovers of a public company of all time.

Musk urged Twitter to really stand up for freedom of speech, and he did advocated open-sourcing Twitter’s algorithm and removing all spam bots from the platform. Most importantly, Musk has signaled that he supports and has proposed a broad relaxation of the company’s content moderation policies Only remove content if required by law. It would be a big shift for the company, which has spent years creating elaborate policies to reduce the amount of toxic and menacing content on its platform.

Gadde himself has been a strong advocate for Twitter’s policies protecting the most vulnerable users while protecting free speech – a position at odds with Musk’s.

“I’m often inspired by the fierce debates about controversial issues that take place on Twitter, but I’m also seriously disturbed by the plight of some of our users who are completely overwhelmed by those attempting to silence healthy discourse on behalf of freedom of expression”, Gadde wrote in a 2015 Washington Post comment. “Sometimes this takes the form of hate speech in tweets aimed at women or minority groups; for others, it takes the form of threats designed to intimidate those who speak out on issues.”

Gadde holds one of the most contentious positions on Twitter: your teams decide how to moderate content. This made her the target of right-wing criticism, especially on Twitter distribution blocked of a New York Post article about President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, in 2020. She faced a renewed wave of criticism after multiple reports confirmed she was behind the decision Ban Trump from Twitter.

“No matter what we do, we’ve been accused of bias,” she said told Bloomberg News in 2020. “Leave content open, remove content – that’s become quite a bit of background noise.”

So far, it’s unclear what Musk’s acquisition will mean for Twitter — and for Gadde’s future with the company. Executives at an all-hands on Monday hesitated when staff asked about what Musk’s leadership will mean for Twitter’s politics.

During their team meeting, Gadde raised similar concerns. And several employees walked out of the debrief with a renewed sense of loyalty to her.

“If you look up the word ‘inspirational’ in the dictionary, you’ll find a picture of @vijaya.” tweeted senior public policy associate Kennedy O’Brien.

“Grateful as always for your guidance @vijaya – couldn’t be happier.” tweeted Camino RojoTwitter Spain’s Head of Public Policy, Government and Philanthropy.

Many progressives have expressed deep concern over Musk’s move to buy Twitter.

The billionaire entrepreneur has “used the platform to attack people, often launching childish broadsides against anyone he doesn’t like or disagree with,” said Jessica González, co-CEO of progressive tech advocacy Free Press. “And he’s regularly rallied a Twitter mob of loyal fans to follow his example with more vicious threats and bullying.” Twitter’s top lawyer reassures staff and cries during meeting over Musk acquisition

Fry Electronics Team

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