Musk flips Twitter the bird · Victor Wynne

Victor Wynne

Musk flips Twitter the bird

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Casey Newton, in response to this Washington Post piece:

It’s no surprise that Musk disagrees with current company executives about their policymaking; he has said so from the start. Nor is it a shock that he would use his outsized platform to insult other people; it has been one his primary use cases for Twitter for years now.

But I still find myself taken aback that Musk would single out individual policy executives for this kind of public criticism now. In three to six months, if and when the deal closes, Musk is free to clean house; it has been apparent for weeks that few if any of Twitter’s current C-team will survive the transition. But to single out those executives today, while also responding sympathetically to right-wing conspiracy theorists, creates needless new turmoil at the company during an already turbulent time.

Let us count the ways. Gadde is now facing a torrent of racist abuse and death threats. Leslie Berland, the company’s chief marketing officer, came in for similar attacks this week after a recording of her reading employees’ questions aloud leaked.

And it’s not just executives: roughly a dozen Twitter employees have been doxxed by trolls in the past few days, I’m told. Sometimes it’s because they were responding to one of Musk’s tweets; other times it has been as simple as employees tweeting that they’re looking for new jobs.

At best, all of this has been a distraction for the work Twitter was doing before they were derailed by the acquisition. At worst, it’s leaving some employees fearful for their lives.

And about that issue — the actual consequences for people — the very vocal Musk has had nothing to say.

There is absolutely nothing surprising about any of this.