Big Tech critics fear Twitter’s new CEO, Parag Agrawal, has a worse record on free speech than his predecessor, the New York Post reported.
Old comments are coming to light which forward critics’ concerns as well. In a 2018 interview, Agrawal said Twitter should “focus less on thinking about free speech, but thinking about how the times have changed.”
Jack Dorsey, the former CEO of the company, had a controversial censorship record of his own. Under his leadership, Twitter famously banned former President Donald Trump and other prominent conservative figures.
“You’re talking about an organization where free speech is integral to what they do. I’ve seen the left talk about how this appears likely that Twitter is going to endorse the more European view of free speech — which is not free speech,” Dan Gainor of the Media Research Center said.
“I’m bothered because Jack Dorsey, for all of his flaws, he came from Twitter when Twitter cared about free speech. He had to be dragged into the safe-space era. This guy is new. And based on the actions they’ve taken on day one, he’s already there,” Gainor added.
On Agrawal’s first day as CEO, Twitter announced it would no longer allow posting images or videos of people without their consent.
A Twitter representative told the Post images and videos of people at large events “would generally not violate this policy,” which is intended to protect “women, activists, dissidents, and members of minority communities.”
“The woman who took the video of George Floyd, if she had not been able to post that video, that case would not have happened, and that murderer would have gotten away with it. That concerns me,” CUNY Journalism School professor Jeff Jarvis claimed.
Agrawal also announced new executive maneuvers Friday, which involved firing the company’s current engineering and design leads, The Wall Street Journal reported.