- Elon Musk bought Twitter on Monday and may change his approach to content moderation.
- A key architect of these content policies is attorney Vijaya Gadde.
- Gadde cried during a meeting on Monday discussing the takeover, Politico reported on Tuesday, citing “three people familiar with the meeting”.
Twitter’s top lawyer and a leading voice in decisions such as banning President Donald Trump from the platform was emotional and wept at a meeting with officials discussing Elon Musk’s takeover of the platform on Monday, Politico reported on Tuesday.
Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s director of legal, policy and trust, reportedly played a big role in moderating content on Twitter, advising former CEO Jack Dorsey and helping negotiate the deal between Musk and Twitter.
Gadde met virtually with officials she oversees in the legal and political arena on Monday to discuss the purchase, Politico reported.
She “acknowledged that there are significant uncertainties about what the company under Musk’s leadership will look like,” the outlet wrote, citing “three people familiar with the meeting.”
The sources told Politico that Gadde cried while airing concerns about changes on Twitter.
She also reportedly said that she was proud of the employees and that they should keep trying to make a positive contribution to the company.
Former employees said they don’t feel Musk’s ethos matches the company’s values (although Dorsey has embraced the purchase).
“Any sense that an exodus is brewing is correct,” a former Twitter employee told Insider on Tuesday.
Employees asked about everything from possible layoffs to the reactivation of Donald Trump’s Twitter account at a general meeting on Monday, where CEO Parag Agrawal acknowledged that there is not much certainty about the platform’s future.
Musk remained optimistic about free speech, tweet Tuesday that the platform must not moderate anything that is against the law.
Concern over “free speech” is often cited by conservatives, who cheer the purchase of Musk and have long felt that Twitter discriminates against right-wing views, especially after deplatforming Trump.
Gadde was the driving force behind that decision, CNN Business reported in 2021, as were others at the time it took place.
The lawyer’s job involves deciding when content can be taken down and has been called the “moral authority” of Twitter, 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, a former Twitter COO who worked with Gadde before leaving in 2016, told CNN Business.
Gadde also proposed to Dorsey the idea of completely banning political advertising on Twitter (which happened in 2019) according to Politico.
The channel described her in detail in 2020, discussing how she became a lightning rod for conservative critics and discussed her childhood as an immigrant from India in Beaumont, Texas. There, her father was once advised to seek permission from the local Klu Klux Klan to sell insurance door-to-door, she said.
Experiences like this and others inspired her to become a lawyer, she said.
After their meeting on Monday, Gadde appeared to have cheered up employees, some of whom tweeted about her afterwards, Politico reported.
“If you look up the word ‘inspirational’ in the dictionary, you’ll find a photo of @vijaya,” tweeted public policy associate Kennedy O’Brien.
Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.