Twitter’s new CEO, Linda Yaccarino, a World Economic Forum Executive Chair and NBCUniversal advertising executive, recently tried to get Twitter owner Elon Musk to commit to self-censorship and urged him to allow advertisers to feel that they can “influence” Twitter.
During an April 2023 interview with Musk, Yaccarino told Musk that advertisers “need to feel there’s an opportunity for them to influence what you’re building.”
She then proceeded to pressure him to self-censor by not tweeting after 3 am. Musk agreed to try to tweet less after 3 am but partially pushed back against the attempt to influence his speech.
“If I were to say, ‘Yes, you can influence me,’ that would be wrong,” Musk said. “That would be very wrong because that would be a diminishment of freedom of speech.”
Yaccarino disagreed, claiming that “influencing” is “more of an open feedback loop” for advertisers to “help develop Twitter into a place where they will be excited about investing” in areas such as “product development, ad safety, and content moderation.”
However, Musk continued to push back:
“It’s totally cool to say that you want to have your advertising appear in certain places in Twitter and not in other places but it is not cool to try to say what Twitter will do and if that means losing advertising dollars, we lose it, but freedom of speech is paramount.”
Despite Musk making it clear that he felt it was wrong for advertisers to try and influence Twitter, Yaccarino kept trying to press the point.
She asked Musk to recommit to reinstating an “influence council” that allowed advertisers to have “recurring access” to Twitter leadership.
“I would be wary of that creating a backlash among the public,” Musk warned.
Prior to being tapped as the upcoming Twitter CEO, Yaccarino was the Chairman of Global Advertising and Partnerships at NBCUniversal. She has previously served as NBCUniversal’s Chairman of Advertising & Client Partnership and President of Cable Entertainment & Digital Advertising Sales during her almost 12-year tenure with the company.
She also has several ties to the World Economic Forum (WEF), a global group that consistently advocates for the censorship of “misinformation” and supports mass data collection.
In her LinkedIn profile, Yaccarino notes that she’s been a WEF Executive Chair since January 2019. Currently, she’s the Chairman of the WEF’s Taskforce on Future of Work. She also sits on the WEF’s Media, Entertainment, and Culture Industry Governors Steering Committee. Additionally, she is highly engaged with the WEF’s Value in Media initiative. Yaccarino has spoken at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting about shaping the future of media, entertainment, and culture.
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