'Freedom of speech, not reach': What Elon Musk's new rule on 'hate' tweets says

Updated on Nov 19, 2022 06:09 AM IST

Since taking over Twitter three weeks ago and giving a rough start with a spate of controversial decisions, Musk himself has been at the center of criticism, and every day is just another story about turmoil brewing at the Twitter headquarters.

Twitter logo and a photo of Elon Musk are displayed through magnifier in this illustration.(Reuters)
Twitter logo and a photo of Elon Musk are displayed through magnifier in this illustration.(Reuters)

Twitter's new boss Elon Musk on Saturday said the microblogging platform's new policy is about “freedom of speech” and not “freedom of reach”. In one of his latest tweets, the tech billionaire, who calls himself a free-speech absolutist, announced his decision to cut the reach of what he said were “negative or hate tweets". While he didn't clarify what exactly constituted a “negative or hate” tweet, Musk said such tweets will be “max deboosted” and “demonetized”, adding that the platform won't be earning revenue or getting advertisements in such cases.

“You won’t find the tweet unless you specifically seek it out, which is no different from rest of Internet,” he added. He clarified that the new rule will only apply to individual tweets and not the entire account.

Also read | Musk says Twitter reinstating some banned users, but no decision on Trump yet

Since taking over Twitter three weeks ago and giving a rough start with a spate of controversial decisions, Musk himself has been at the center of criticism, and every day is just another story about turmoil brewing at the Twitter headquarters.

After buying Twitter for $44 billion, Musk has axed half of the company’s employees and fired most of its executive leadership. His latest ultimatum – which seeks to bend the work culture – has triggered an exodus of employees. Musk had demanded employees return to the office immediately, ending remote work, monthly “days of rest” and free food. The decision did not go down well with employees preferring to resign with a severance pay than having to work under the new boss who has been in favour of long work hours and an intense pace.

The world's richest person has so far maintained calm in the face of brewing chaos with some speculating Twitter doomsday is not far. He had said that he was not worried about resignations as "the best people are staying."

In Twitter's internal chat tool, over 500 employees reportedly wrote farewell messages on Thursday, news agency Reuters reported, citing a person familiar with the notes. The uncertainty over Twitter's fate looms.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    A journalist with 4+ years with digital media, Shubhangi Gupta covers political, world, and business news for Hindustan Times, New Delhi.

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