New Twitter CEO Says Platform Will Be ‘World’s Most Accurate Real-Time Information Source’

New Twitter CEO Says Platform Will Be ‘World’s Most Accurate Real-Time Information Source’
Linda Yaccarino speaks onstage during Seat At The Table in New York City on March 23, 2022. (Cindy Ord/Getty Images for The Female Quotient)
Katabella Roberts

Twitter’s new CEO Linda Yaccarino vowed on June 12 that the platform will become the “world’s most accurate real-time information source” and a “global town square for communication” as part of its expansion toward “Twitter 2.0.”

Yaccarino, the former head of advertising at NBCUniversal, was named by Elon Musk as the new CEO of Twitter in May and took over from the billionaire a few weeks later on June 6.

In a series of posts on Monday—her first since becoming CEO—Yaccarino said she has been asked repeatedly why she stepped into the new rule at Twitter, which has been the subject of controversy since Musk took over in October last year in a $44 billion deal.

Responding to the questioning, Yaccarino credited Musk for knowing that “space exploration and electric vehicles needed transformation” and acting upon it.

“It’s also becoming clear that the global town square needs transformation—to drive civilization forward through the unfiltered exchange of information and open dialogue about the things that matter most to us,” she wrote.

“Have you ever been talking with someone particularly insightful and thought, you should have the freedom to speak your mind? We all should. Enter Twitter 2.0,” she continued. “Twitter is on a mission to become the world’s most accurate real-time information source and a global town square for communication. That’s not an empty promise. That’s OUR reality.”

‘We Need to Think Big’

Calling Twitter 2.0 a “powerful vision,” Yaccarino said the platform has the opportunity to “reach across aisles, create new partnerships, celebrate new voices, and build something together that can change the world.”

“From what I can tell so far, we’re built for this,” she wrote. “The success of Twitter 2.0 is all of our responsibility. We need to think big. We need to transform. We need to do it all together.”

Yaccarino’s comments echo those made by Musk, who has vowed to allow free speech on the platform and condemned conservative censorship but stressed that it will not become a “free-for-all hellscape” with no consequences.

According to Musk, Yaccarino, who also chairs the World Economic Forum’s task force on the Future of Work, will focus primarily on business operations at Twitter while he will spend his time on product design and new technology as well as his other businesses, Tesla and SpaceX.

The former NBCUniversal exec, who has a wealth of experience in the advertising industry, is also widely expected to oversee Twitter’s ads business which has suffered deep losses since Musk took over last year. However, Musk said in April that the company was “roughly breaking even” after almost all the advertisers who initially left the platform have returned or suggested they will do so.

Despite Musk’s assurances, The New York Times reported earlier this month that Twitter made $88 million in advertising revenue from April 1 to the first week of May, down 59 percent from the same period last year.

Twitter Pulls Out of EU Rules

Along with bolstering advertising revenue, Yaccarino will likely face another hefty challenge after Musk pulled the company out of the European Union’s voluntary code of practice against disinformation last month.

The rules, known as the Digital Services Act, require companies to put in place measures to counter illegal content online, conduct independent audits of their risk management measures, share data with researchers, and allow users new rights to complain to the platform and seek out-of-court settlements.

They also state that social media platforms should “mitigate against risks such as disinformation or election manipulation, cyber violence against women, or harms to minors online.”

Twitter first entered into the voluntary EU code of practice in 2018.

It is unclear exactly why Twitter left the agreement although the platform, under Musk, has introduced the “Community Notes” feature which allows Twitter users to collaboratively add context to potentially misleading posts.

In a post following Musk’s move, the bloc’s internal market commissioner, Thierry Breton, suggested that Twitter may still face some legal liabilities, writing, “You can run but you can’t hide.”

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