It is now known to the world that Elon Musk is set to have Twitter in his hands anytime soon, and it echoes new possibilities to the company’s employees. Apart from the obvious company structure changes that might happen within the company upon the official takeover of Musk, many fear the chances of layoff. With this, the current Twitter CEO, Parag Agrawal, held a virtual all-hands call on Monday to ease the tension. However, as many would expect, the answers heard won’t be satisfying for anyone currently working for the company.
In the call, an informant told The Verge that the plans for layoffs are not clear “at this time.” The same goes for the Agrawal, who can keep his position as the company’s CEO while the acquisition is still happening. After the deal is closed later this year, the Twitter board will also face dissolution, making the future just more vague and uncertain for its employees. “There is indeed uncertainty about what will happen after the deal closes,” Agrawal reportedly said in the call.
The uncertainty of Twitter’s path, apparently, extends to its users on the platform. With Musk believing that “free speech is essential to a functioning democracy,” changes in the content moderation of the social media giant are probably coming. And although the closing of the deal is still months away, some users are already testing Musk’s concept of free speech after his tweet saying, “I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means.”
“In fairness to Elon, He has not suspended my account (yet),” said Matt Navarra, a well-known social media industry expert who got blocked by Musk (after calling out the billionaire for lying about deleting the Facebook pages of Tesla and SpaceX). “This still fits with his views on free speech. People can say what they want, but he will use the platform’s features to block out views from those people he personally doesn’t want to see.”
In fairness to Elon, He has not suspended my account (yet)
This still fits with his views on free speech. People can say what they want, but he will use the platform’s features to block out views from those people he personally doesn’t want to see.
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) April 25, 2022
Jeff Bezos, meanwhile, quote tweeted a post from an NYT reporter implying that Musk’s purchase of Twitter can give the Chinese government leverage since “Tesla’s second-biggest market in 2021 was China” and “Chinese battery makers are major suppliers for Tesla’s EVs.”
Interesting question. Did the Chinese government just gain a bit of leverage over the town square? https://t.co/jTiEnabP6T
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) April 25, 2022
“Interesting question,” tweeted Bezos. “Did the Chinese government just gain a bit of leverage over the town square?” Nonetheless, Bezos followed the tweet with two more comments negating his own question (for some reasons you can speculate on your own). “My own answer to this question is probably not. The more likely outcome in this regard is complexity in China for Tesla, rather than censorship at Twitter. But we’ll see. Musk is extremely good at navigating this kind of complexity.”
Musk also seems to start feeling more free now in delivering his old antics on the platform. The Verge experienced it right away after posting a link to its article “How to deactivate your Twitter account” and receiving a reply that says: “Don’t worry, I can do it for you Verge.”