In a recent interview with CNBC, Linda Yaccarino, the CEO of the newly rebranded X (formerly Twitter), has come forward to explain the platform’s transformation and its increasingly stringent approach to censorship content it judges to be “lawful but awful.”
Linda Yaccarino, the CEO of Elon Musk’s social media platform X (formerly Twitter) recently spoke to CNBC about the company’s rebranding decision and its new approach to censorship that seems to echo the old Twitter’s primary form of censorship. Yaccarino, attempting to rationalize the shift from the globally recognized Twitter brand, stated, “Elon has been talking about X, the everything app, for a very long time. When I joined the company, the intention was clear: to partner with Elon and reshape Twitter into X, the everything app.”
Since its acquisition, the platform has rolled out several features, including long-form video, articles, and subscription options for creators. Yaccarino emphasized the growth, saying, “Think about what’s happened since the acquisition. Experiences and evolution into long-form video and articles, subscribe to your favorite creators, who are now earning a real living on the platform.” However, these advancements have been overshadowed by concerns about the platform’s content censorship measures. The censorship has been expected since Elon Musk rolled out his official shadowbanning policy earlier this year.
Discussing content moderation, Yaccarino remarked, “So if you’re going to post something that’s illegal or against the law, you’re gone…But more importantly, if you’re going to post something that is lawful but it’s awful, you get labeled, you get de-amplified (which means it cannot be shared) and it is certainly demonetized.” This policy, ambiguously termed “Freedom of Speech, Not Reach,” has raised concerns about the platform’s commitment to genuine content moderation versus overt censorship.
X CEO Linda Yaccarino Discusses the New ‘Freedom of Speech, Not Reach’ Policy & Encouraging ‘Healthy Behavior’
“So if you’re going to post something that’s illegal or against the law, you’re gone…But more importantly, if you’re going to post something that is lawful but it’s…
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Furthermore, Yaccarino’s claims of having “autonomy” under Elon Musk have been met with skepticism. While she asserts that her and Musk’s roles are “very clear,” with Musk focusing on product design and future developments and Yaccarino overseeing other aspects of the company, questions remain about the platform’s direction, especially given Musk’s influence over other ventures like Tesla and SpaceX.
The rebranding and policy changes come at a time when the platform is grappling with challenges, including the exodus of brands following the spread of “hate speech” and potentially illegal content after Musk’s acquisition. Yaccarino tried to reassure advertisers by highlighting improved trust and safety measures, but many have still not returned to the platform.