Twitter's top lawyer, who angered conservatives with her past decisions about moderating content, cried when discussing the Elon Musk purchase with employees, report says

Advertisement
Twitter's top lawyer, who angered conservatives with her past decisions about moderating content, cried when discussing the Elon Musk purchase with employees, report says
Vijaya Gadde.Twitter
  • Elon Musk bought Twitter on Monday and could shift its approach to content moderation.
  • One key architect of those content policies is the attorney Vijaya Gadde.
Advertisement

Twitter's top attorney and a key voice in decisions such as barring President Donald Trump from the platform became emotional and cried in a meeting with employees discussing Elon Musk's acquisition of the platform on Monday, Politico reported.

Vijaya Gadde, Twitter's head of legal, policy and trust, is said to have played a large role in content moderation at Twitter. She also advised former CEO Jack Dorsey and helped negotiate the deal between Musk and Twitter.

On Monday, Gadde met virtually with employees she supervises in legal and policy to discuss the buy, Politico reported.

She "acknowledged that there are significant uncertainties about what the company will look like under Musk's leadership," the outlet wrote, citing three people familiar with the meeting.

The people told Politico that Gadde cried while relaying concerns about changes to Twitter.

Advertisement

They also told the outlet that she said she was proud of the employees, and that they should continue to try to make a positive contribution to the company.

Former employees have said that they don't feel Musk's ethos matches the company's values (though Dorsey has embraced the buy).

"Any sense that an exodus is building is correct," a former Twitter employee told Insider on Tuesday.

Employees asked about everything from potential layoffs to the reactivation of Trump's Twitter account in an all-hands meeting on Monday, where CEO Parag Agrawal acknowledged that there wasn't a ton of certainty about the platform's future.

Musk has remained bullish on free speech, tweeting on Tuesday that the platform shouldn't moderate anything that isn't against the law.

Advertisement

Twitter's policies extend far beyond that, penalizing certain content that spreads coronavirus-related misinformation, as well as various types of hate speech.

The "free speech" concern is often cited by conservatives, who have celebrated Musk's buy and have long felt that Twitter discriminates against right-wing views, especially after it deplatformed Trump.

Gadde was a driver behind that decision, CNN Business reported in 2021, as did others at the time it occurred.

The attorney's job involves deciding when content can be taken down, and she's been referred to as Twitter's "moral authority," Politico reported.

"Vijaya is at the crossroads of some of the most important policy decisions the company is making and how it interacts with governments around the world," Adam Bain, Twitter's former COO who worked with Gadde before he left in 2016, told CNN Business.

Advertisement

Gadde also posed the idea to Dorsey of banning political advertising on Twitter altogether, which happened in 2019, Politico Magazine reported.

The outlet profiled her at length in 2020, discussing how she became a lightning rod for conservative criticism and discussed her childhood as an immigrant from India in Beaumont, Texas. There, her father was once advised to seek the permission of the local Ku Klux Klan to sell insurance door-to-door, Gadde said.

Experiences like this and others inspired her to become a lawyer, she added.

After her meeting on Monday, Gadde appeared to have cheered up employees, some of whom tweeted about her afterward, Politico reported.

"If you look up the word 'inspiring' in the dictionary you find a picture of @vijaya," tweeted Kennedy O'Brien, a public policy associate at Twitter.

Advertisement

Twitter did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

{{}}