Ex-Twitter CEO swings at Elon Musk for attacks on Twitter's top lawyer
Former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo called out Elon Musk for "bullying" and encouraging verbal harassment on Twitter.
The former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo addressed on Wednesday the company's new overlord, Elon Musk, saying, "Bullying is not leadership."
An array of Twitter users condemned Musk's behavior, toward one of his new employees, on Twitter. He said he would purchase her two days later, pushing his diehard fans to verbally abuse her as well.
“What’s going on? You’re making an executive at the company you just bought the target of harassment and threats,” wrote Costolo, who ran Twitter from 2010 to 2015, in direct response to one of Musk’s tweets.
Bullying is not leadership.— dick costolo (@dickc) April 27, 2022
Twitter's top lawyer, Vijaya Gadde, known for her efforts against verbal abuse and misinformation and who also played a role in banning former US President Donald Trump from Twitter, had been disputing with Musk.
On Tuesday, Saagar Enjeti, a right-wing political commentator, dubbed Gadde Twitter's "top censorship supporter" for limiting the dissemination of news regarding first family member Hunter Biden's laptop. Musk responded personally to Enjeti, calling the move "very inappropriate".
Gadde was said to have been emotional during a virtual conference with her colleagues on Monday when she expressed concern about the company's trajectory under Musk's leadership.
On Wednesday afternoon, Musk criticized Gadde using an image from an episode in Joe Rogan's podcast. In the episode, Gadde appeared and spent time defending the content moderation policies that she put effort into shaping.
His tweet read that Gadde has adopted policies that betray her "left-wing bias".
Musk is widely expected to relax the regulations governing what individuals may post on Twitter, likely increasing the amount of hate speech on the service. Many Twitter employees, like Gadde, are allegedly concerned about Musk's management of the platform.
In another tweet late Wednesday afternoon, he addressed the topic indirectly, "For Twitter to deserve public trust, it must remain politically neutral, which means offending the extreme right and far left equally." He did not, however, expound on the types of "upsetting" judgments he would make.
Kara Swisher, a prominent tech journalist, and podcaster for the New York Times, had a grim answer to Costolo's inquiry about Musk's purpose for publicly denigrating an employee.
“What’s going on: He’s trying to goad people into leaving and it’s an odious way of doing it,” Swisher said. “He’d rather they quit than pay them out.”
Gadde has not commented publicly on Musk's accusations. Twitter did not respond.