New Twitter CEO Elon Musk said Friday that he would create a new content moderation group that will oversee all policy initiatives on the platform.
The news comes as Musk officially acquired the company Thursday evening for $54.20 per share in a deal that took six months to close, valued at $44 billion.
“Twitter will be forming a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints,” Musk tweeted. “No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes.”
Six hours later, Musk added: “To be super clear, we have not yet made any changes to Twitter’s content moderation policies”
To be super clear, we have not yet made any changes to Twitter’s content moderation policies https://t.co/k4guTsXOIu
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 29, 2022
Musk responded to another Twitter account about the issue of reinstating accounts that have been previously banned.
“Anyone suspended for minor & dubious reasons will be freed from Twitter jail,” Musk said.
Musk reportedly directed engineers from his electric car company Tesla, where he also serves as CEO, to take control of the social media company’s code away from Twitter’s engineers to evaluate potential changes to the system.
Musk also immediately fired leftist CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, and Vijaya Gadde, head of legal policy, trust, and safety, The Washington Post reported. The report said Musk also fired the company’s general counsel, Sean Edgett, who was escorted out of the building.
Musk released a statement earlier on Thursday to advertisers explaining why he wanted to buy Twitter and ensuring them that they do not have to worry about Twitter becoming a “free-for-all hellscape.”
“I wanted to reach out personally to share my motivation in acquiring Twitter,” Musk wrote. “There has been much speculation about why I bought Twitter and what I think about advertising. Most of it has been wrong.”
“The reason I acquired Twitter is because it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence,” Musk continued. “There is currently great danger that social media will splinter into far right wing and far left wing echo chambers that generate more hate and divide our society.”
“In the relentless pursuit of clicks, much of traditional media has fueled and catered to those polarized extremes, as they believe that is what brings in the money, but, in doing so, the opportunity for dialogue is lost,” Musk continued. “That is why I bought Twitter. I didn’t do it because it would be easy. I didn’t do it to make more money. I did it to try to help humanity, whom I love. And I do so with humility, recognizing that failure in pursuing this goal, despite our best efforts, is a very real possibility.”
“That said, Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences!” Musk concluded. “In addition to adhering to the laws of the land, our platform must be warm and welcoming to all, where you can choose your desired experience according to your preferences, just as you can choose, for example, to see movies or play video games ranging from all ages to mature.”