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Elon Musk shows what being Chief Twit is all about across weird weekend

Shares misinformation, re-litigates takeover trial, complains about on-boarding process, and more

Chief Twit Elon Musk has taken control of Twitter and shown he is well and truly up to the job title he gave himself after paying $44 billion for the micro-blogging platform.

Musk began his tenure with a few quips, before offering the following announcement detailing his plans to address content moderation on Twitter:

That tweet represents a departure from his previous statements suggesting he favors maximalist interpretations of the right to free speech, but is consistent with a tweet he emitted the day before his takeover was completed that addressed the advertising community and promised the service would not become a “free-for-all hellscape.”

Over the weekend Musk clarified that the creation of the content moderation council does not mean Twitter has changed its content moderation policies.

He later japed about the issue of free speech.

A reminder: Twitter permanently suspended the account of former US president Donald Trump, thrusting the service into a roiling partisan debate about accountability, censorship, and free speech.

Musk then demonstrated the kind of behavior that makes those debates so hard to resolve by responding to a tweet from former US first lady, senator, secretary of state and Democratic presidential candidate Hilary Clinton. In the tweet, she expressed concern about how conspiracy theories have poisoned political debate, as typified by the attack on Paul Pelosi, the husband of speaker of the house Nancy Pelosi.

Musk replied with a link to a site often rated as a dubious source of news for purveying conspiracy theories, deleted it, then mocked The New York Times reporting of his actions.

While all that was going on, Twitter’s head of safety Yoel Roth shared news of a spike in hateful tweeting:

Musk later surfaced what appears to be a Slack message from Roth that he alleged was kept from him by Twitter’s lawyers and board during the litigation over his acquisition of the company.

Twitter’s new owner also found time to complain about the company’s automated onboarding process after it insisted he complete a basic management course.

Aside from his online activity, Musk has reportedly fired several senior staff, forced developers to submit code for a quality review conducted by coders from Tesla, and prepared to fire either 75 percent of Twitter staff, or 50 percent, or … maybe some other quantity. Other rumors suggest Musk will force verified Twitter users – so called “Blue Ticks” – to adopt the service’s $4.99/month Twitter Blue premium service. As that service only operates in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, that does not seem to be an immediately achievable aim (and FWIW your corresponded thinks the service is not very good).


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