Elon Musk To Host ‘Rare’ Internal Q&A As Twitter Employees Grumble About His Influence
Elon Musk’s ascension to Twitter’s board has led the company’s workers to privately grumble to the press about Musk’s ‘free speech absolutism’ and the possibility that he might push for a rollback of the platform’s rules against ‘harassment’ (ie criticism) and ‘hate speech’ (ie conservative views, or anything that contradicts the company’s stated woke ideology).
Unwilling to let these criticisms go unaddressed, the company announced on Friday that Musk had agreed to host an internal Q&A with the company’s employees, which CEO Parag Agrawal announced in an internal email to employees that leaked to the press.
“We say that Twitter is what’s happening and what people are talking about right now. Often, we [at] Twitter are what’s happening and what people are talking about. That has certainly been the case this week,” Agrawal wrote in a companywide email Thursday, inviting staff to the AMA. “Following our board announcement, many of you have had different types of questions about Elon Musk, and I want to welcome you to ask those questions to him.”
A Twitter spokesman confirmed the AMA and declined to comment further. Musk did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to the Washington Post, town halls where employees can put questions to companies’ senior leadership are a long-standing Silicon Valley tradition. They take place regularly at Facebook, Google and Twitter.
But involving a board member in an internal Q&A is rare.
WaPo also noted that Twitter is known for its ultra-liberal company culture.
Twitter, which is based in liberal San Francisco and has over 5,000 employees who can work remotely from anywhere, is known for an extremely liberal and vocal corporate culture. Recently departed CEO Jack Dorsey is a prominent supporter of Black Lives Matter. Twitter was the first company to take action against President Donald Trump for his tweets supporting Capitol rioters on Jan. 6, as well as the first company to allow employees to permanently work from home. Engineering teams have spent years building tools to fight spam, misinformation and hate speech.
And already, workers have taken to the platform to accuse Musk of ‘causing harm to the trans community’.
“Quick question: If an employee tweeted some of the things Elon tweets, they’d likely be the subject” of an HR investigation, one employee noted on company Slack channels. “Are board members held to the same standard?”
Another post said that employees were struggling with welcoming a leader whose values seemed to be in contradiction with the company’s.
“We know that he has caused harm to workers, the trans community, women, and others with less power in the world,” that employee asked. “How are we going to reconcile this decision with our values? Does innovation trump humanity?”
Executives have reportedly been telling employees all week that Musk won’t play a role in managerial decisions. But it appears his poll about whether to adopt an edit button (clearly a joke) has been seized upon by workers as evidence that he intends to remake the company in his own image.
Do you want an edit button?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 5, 2022
The Q&A – which is slated to be held some time next week – is internal. But while it likely won’t be open to the entire world, we firmly expect a flurry of leaks sharing the most scathing questions (and Musk’s response) to emerge shortly afterward.
Twitter Plans to Host @elonmusk for Q&A With Employees: WaPo
they have to make this open to the entire world
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) April 8, 2022
Fri, 04/08/2022 – 15:50