Status: 04/28/2022 10:22 a.m
The Twitter chief legal officer faces a wave of scathing and racist comments online. Critics accuse Elon Musk of having contributed to this with his tweets. Is there headwind for his takeover plans?
Twitter chief lawyer Vijaya Gadde is currently exposed to a wave of online attacks and tweets, some of which are racist. And the future Twitter owner, Elon Musk, has made a significant contribution to this, according to critics. The accusation weighs heavily: The tech billionaire fueled hatred on the net against Gadde with his own tweets.
allegations of censorship
Earlier, the US daily Politico reported that Gadde had expressed concern in an internal meeting about the “significant uncertainties” about Twitter’s future under Musk. She couldn’t hold back the tears.
Musk’s reaction followed promptly – via Twitter, of course. The Twitter-heavy user with over 80 million followers responded to a tweet by conservative journalist Saagar Enjeti criticizing Gadde as Twitter’s “top censorship advocate”. Enjeti accuses Gadde of “censoring the Hunter Biden laptop story”.
Election campaign report causes a stir again
The background is an old article from the 2020 presidential election campaign. At that time, the “New York Post” reported on Joe Biden’s son Hunter, who is said to have offered business partners meetings with his father. The source given was data that had allegedly been discovered on a Hunter Biden notebook in a workshop.
Twitter then blocked the newspaper’s account because the platform prohibits the distribution of illegally obtained content. Twitter later reversed the decision, Gadde announced changes in Twitter’s approach, and then-CEO Jack Dorsey apologized.
Musk criticizes “Twitter’s left-wing bias”
“Having the Twitter account of a major news organization suspended for publishing a true story was obviously incredibly inappropriate,” Musk replied to the Enjeti tweet. In the afternoon, the entrepreneur followed up and attacked Gadde even more directly: He tweeted a meme about “Twitter’s left-wing bias” (“Twitter’s left-wing bias”) – with a picture of Gadde.
The Twitter chief lawyer was then increasingly exposed to violent attacks in tweets. Many taunted her for crying at the meeting. But there were also numerous racist abuses; some of these have since been removed. Former Twitter boss Dick Costolo then took a hard swipe at Musk. “Bullying is not leadership,” he wrote on Twitter.
Concerned about the future of her company: Twitter chief lawyer Vijaya Gadde
“All I’m saying is that Twitter has to be politically neutral,” Musk said. The Tesla boss had previously indicated that Twitter would be less moderated under his aegis.
Twitter stock price as a signal
The network attacks against Gadde raise the question of what headwind there could be for Musk’s plans to take over the short message service. After all, the tech billionaire had pledged in the acquisition agreement not to “denigrate” the online service or its representatives.
The investors on the stock exchange are obviously not yet completely convinced of the success of the takeover plans. This skepticism is evidenced by the Twitter share price, which at last $48.64 was well below Musk’s offer of $54.20. Musk agreed with Twitter this week to acquire the online service for around $44 billion. However, enough shareholders still have to be willing to sell him their shares at the price offered.