Musk embraces conservative speech tighter as top Twitter content executives exit

Twitter's logo, a bird, appears on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York City.
Twitter's logo appears on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York City. AP Photo/Richard Drew

Musk embraces conservative speech tighter as top Twitter content executives exit

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Twitter appears to be charting a new course on speech after owner Elon Musk gave a full-throated endorsement to its hosting of a conservative film on transgender ideologies and as two of the platform’s safety executives left the company.

Musk tweeted out the Daily Wire movie What is A Woman on Friday, less than a day after Daily Wire CEO Jeremy Boreing said that the platform had backed out of an agreement to advertise the film on the grounds that it fell afoul of its misgendering policy.

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“Every parent should watch this,” Musk said, after apparently revising Twitter’s internal rules on the fly to allow for the video to have full reach on the platform.

Amid the controversy over the treatment of the film, Twitter Head of Trust and Safety Ella Irwin resigned from her position late Thursday, while Twitter Head of Brand Safety and Ad Quality A.J. Brown stepped down on Friday.

Musk said Thursday that the decision not to feature the film was “a mistake by many people at Twitter.” He did note that the video was advertiser-restricted because “advertisers have the right to decide what content their ads appear with, which will impact reach to some degree.”

Irwin and Brown have not commented on why they left, although Irwin’s departure occurred after Musk slammed the employees for the decision to limit the reach of the film.

What is a Woman features Daily Wire host Matt Walsh asking a number of people about what makes someone a woman and features interviews with a transgender person who has since detransitioned, a gender-affirming therapist, a licensed gynecologist and surgeon, a university professor, and a Democratic lawmaker. Screenings of Walsh’s film have often drawn protesters who say it is transphobic.

After Thursday’s controversy, the version of the film posted on Twitter registered nearly 60 million views. Musk had it pinned to the top of his profile Friday.

Irwin was the replacement for Yoel Roth, who was a key player in the 2020 decision to restrict the New York Post story about the Hunter Biden laptop.

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Irwin’s and Brown’s departures occurred weeks after Musk announced that former NBCUniversal CEO Linda Yaccarino would take over as company CEO. Yaccarino will now have to find executives to step in to replace Irwin and Brown, whose roles were important in ensuring that advertisers trust the platforms to be safe and represent their brands appropriately.

The company is struggling to generate revenue after Musk’s takeover, which led to the withdrawal of many advertisers. The company’s revenue is expected to fall by 28% in 2023, according to analysts at Insider Intelligence. Musk also confirmed that he has fired more than 80% of the company’s staff since he acquired the company.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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