Twitter’s top lawyer, Vijaya Gadde, reportedly cried during a Monday virtual meeting discussing Elon Musk’s multi-billion dollar purchase of Twitter.
Gadde cried as she expressed her concerns over how the company will change and look like once Musk officially takes over, three sources said, according to Politico. Twitter spokesperson Trenton Kennedy reportedly said the attorney’s emotions continued as she discussed her pride for her co-workers.
Gadde, employed by Twitter since 2011, is the key person overseeing Twitter’s legal and public policy functions, as well as the company’s trust and safety, Politico reported. She was reportedly involved in negotiating the $44 billion deal between Twitter and Musk.
She also had involvement in making the decision to ban former President Donald Trump from the platform in January 2021 over tweets the company saw as inciting or justifying violence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, the outlet reported.
New: Twitter’s top lawyer – a key player in the decision to remove Trump from the platform – reassured staff and cried in a meeting on the Musk takeover
— Betsy Woodruff Swan (@woodruffbets) April 26, 2022
Twitter’s board initially objected to Musk’s multi-billion dollar offer to take over the social media company. The board deployed the “poison pill” defense strategy to limit a single shareholder from purchasing an excessive number of shares to take over the company. Musk became the largest Twitter shareholder after purchasing a 9.2% stake in the company in early April.
“I think everyone at Twitter, regardless of how they feel about the news, is feeling reflective and emotional,” a Twitter employee said, according to Politico. “We’ve gone through a lot in the past two years and I think it’s generally instigated a lot of reflection. I think this was more of an acknowledgment of the uncertainty everyone is feeling right now.” (RELATED: ‘Tyrants Are Grieving’: Tucker Carlson Says The Media Is ‘Infuriated’ Musk Will Defend Free Speech On Twitter)
Gadde argued in a 2015 Washington Post op-ed titled “Twitter executive: Here’s how we’re trying to stop abuse while preserving free speech” that she was bothered by the silencing of “healthy discourse in the name of free expression” as it at times targets users “who take a stand on issues.”
It is currently unclear what her future position will be after Musk’s takeover, the outlet reported.
Musk has been a strong advocate of free speech and vowed to preserve the free expression of ideas and debate on the platform. He said during an April 14 TED talk that a sign of a “healthy, functioning free speech situation” is if one is allowed to say something that another person does not like.
“A good sign as to whether there is free speech is someone you don’t like allowed to say something you don’t like. And if that is the case, then we have free speech,” he said. “And it’s damn annoying when someone you don’t like says something you don’t like. That is a sign of a healthy, functioning free speech situation.”
In a Monday statement, Musk emphasized the importance of free speech by calling it the “bedrock of a functioning democracy” and pointed to Twitter’s “tremendous potential.”