At a meeting with all Twitter staff on Thursday, Elon Musk gave more details about how he would handle moderation on the platform, leaving the door open for a more hands-on approach than many had assumed.
In response to an employee’s question about his views on content moderation, Musk said he felt people should “say pretty outrageous things within the law,” but that such statements shouldn’t necessarily be reinforced, according to employees who heard the comments. . In particular, he relied on a distinction between freedom of speech and freedom of reach, popularized by disinformation researcher Renée DiResta†
Musk echoed previous comments he’s made publicly and also said he wants Twitter to take a tougher line on bots and spam, saying that “it must be much more expensive to have a troll army.” He told employees he is in favor of users paying to get verified and that they prioritize how Twitter ranks the tweets people see.
Musk has been outspoken in his criticism of Twitter’s moderation of conservatives on the platform, particularly its decision to ban former President Donald Trump in the wake of the January 6 riots. In an interview with the Financial times in May, Musk said he would likely roll back the Trump ban if the takeover is successful. More recently, he expressed concern that the platform was not acting aggressively enough in response to: harassment of the Libs or TikTok account†
But speaking to Twitter employees, he took a softer stance and stuck to the tenets of Twitter as a platform for self-expression. “Some people use their hair to express themselves,” he told staff. “I use Twitter.”