The Run-Down: On April 26, Tesla shareholder Elon Musk’s $44 billion dollar bid for Twitter, the social media platform, was approved
- Musk has been highly critical of the platform, stating that he plans to set off a series of changes, including relaxing content restrictions, in which Musk says the only form of content moderation would be that which the law requires
- Musk has publicly denounced Twitter’s leadership, writing in his offer letter that he does “not have confidence in management”, leading to public speculation that Musk will be replacing leadership with those who better align with his vision for the company
- Even with a nondisparagement agreement written into the takeover deal, Musk tweeted out harsh criticism of the head of legal, policy, and safety, Vijaya Gadde, claiming she allowed Twitter to have a “left-wing” political bias
- Musk’s statements have put authorities on notice; EU Commissioner Theirry Breton has already sent a warning that Musk must follow Europe’s new standards for content moderation
Why You Should Care:
Elon Musk is planning to shake up one of the largest social media platforms in the world, which is undoubtedly going to have an effect on the compliance world. Being that Musk is pushing for an almost unlimited free speech approach, users are already wondering what changes they may see across the platform.
And it’s not just users whose curiosity has peaked. Government authorities are already preparing to place extra attention on the content that is produced on Twitter under Musk’s leadership. This begs the question: where, and how, do compliance measures come into play?
On a company level, employees are going to see a vast transformation of leadership, likely sparking a frenzy of hiring, firing, and everything in between. Internally, compliance matters should be prioritized now more than ever. Musk should focus his rebrand on cultivating an environment that incorporates integrity into each and every facet of the business, even as he attempts to bring an all-encompassing free-speech approach to the company. Without staunch internal policies, Musk opens up the risk of employee dissatisfaction, ranging from employees feeling less motivated at work, high numbers of resignations, and even worse, lawsuits. On a regulatory level, Musk’s free-speech absolutism may lead to government interference, where media content moderation has become a hot-button topic for governmental authorities across the globe.