Linda Yaccarino, who took over from Elon Musk as head of Twitter last week, said in a series of tweets that she wanted the social media site to become the most accurate real-time information source. It won’t be easy.
Yaccarino said in a Twitter thread that the company is “on a mission to become the world’s most accurate real-time information source and a global town square for communication.” She stresses that this isn’t an empty promise.
The thread also included numerous inspirational corporate slogans, such as “everything is possible”, and “we need to think big.”
All this should “drive civilization forward through the unfiltered exchange of information and open dialogue about the things that matter most to us,” the former NBCUniversal advertising chief said.
Critics argue, though, that Yaccarino’s mission to turn Twitter into a reliable news source won’t be easy. The platform is currently a mess.
Twitter is losing money because advertisers don’t want to stay in a very loosely moderated forum. The company lost its head of trust and safety Ella Irwin last month and pulled out of the European Union’s disinformation code.
Last year, when Musk bought Twitter, it laid off many employees who had worked on efforts to prevent harmful and illegal content. Besides, as a virtual town square, Twitter simply seems biased.
For instance, Musk who has called himself a “free speech absolutist” has reinstated thousands of far right-wing accounts that are more often than not spreading hate speech and false propaganda.
Finally, dozens of prominent Ukrainian activists said last week they were shadowbanned on Twitter. Shadowbanned accounts are usually shown less often by the network’s algorithm in the “For You” feed
On the other hand, Yaccarino can try to balance out Musk and tempt major advertisers to come back to Twitter. She certainly did that at NBCUniversal where she overhauled the company’s advertising sales business.
Yaccarino’s reputation might have already helped. In mid-May, top advertising agency GroupM told its clients it no longer considered Twitter “high-risk” and expressed “cautious optimism” over the appointment of Yaccarino.
Musk broke the news about Yaccarino on May 15th and said that she would primarily focus on business operations. She was supposed to start working as CEO in six weeks but replaced Musk sooner, on June 5th.
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