Linda Yaccarino, Elon Musk’s reported pick to become the next CEO of Twitter, is already stirring speculation that she will push Twitter in a direction less friendly to free speech.
While Yaccarino’s appointment to head Twitter is not official, multiple outlets have reported that she is likely to be Musk’s successor; she also left her role at NBCUniversal as chair of Global Advertising and Partnerships early Friday. However, Yaccarino’s work, particularly her position at the World Economic Forum (WEF), an organization staffed with members of the global elite class that routinely advocates for censorship, is raising concerns that her leadership could usher in increased suppression of content, particularly from conservatives.
Musk’s decision to hire Yaccarino, as a corporate executive, advertising expert and member of an elite organization, is likely motivated by Twitter’s need to lure advertisers to the platform. In late 2022, Twitter advertisers were targeted by a boycott campaign spearheaded by liberal dark money groups, and many advertisers fled the site in the months following Musk assuming leadership over the company.
Many advertisers cited concerns over “hate speech” and “misinformation” as their justification for ditching Twitter, according to Fortune Magazine, and it’s possible that a CEO identified with stricter content moderation policies may make Twitter a more enticing target for advertisers.
However, Yaccarino has also been subject to criticism from the left, with many commentators pointing out that she was previously a Trump appointee and follows many right-wing accounts on Twitter, such as Ron DeSantis, Libs of Tik Tok and New York Post journalist Miranda Devine.
The more we learn about this woman, at this point the best you could say is it appears Elon has found a Fauci Tom platform to try and appeal to a segment of the marketplace that won’t entertain anything he says, in some attempt to appear balanced. We know how that decision turned… https://t.co/USkt0l34O7
— Steve Deace (@SteveDeaceShow) May 12, 2023
Yaccarino serves as chairman on the WEF’s Taskforce on Future of Work and sits on its Media, Entertainment and Culture Industry Governors Steering Committee, according to her LinkedIn profile.
The WEF has frequently pushed to crack down on speech deemed harmful, suggesting a new way to censor online content using a small group of experts to train artificial intelligence to identify “misinformation” and harmful content, according to a 2022 article. Moreover, the organization has regularly hosted panels featuring discussions of cracking down on “disinformation.”
In 2021-2022, Yaccarino served as chair of the nonprofit advertising organization Ad Council, where she partnered with various private and public entities to develop a campaign for COVID-19 vaccination that featured Pope Francis and reached more than 200 million Americans, according to her LinkedIn. The Ad Council also advised Twitter on COVID-19 misinformation, according to journalist Matt Taibbi. (RELATED: Elon Musk Asks Don Lemon To Consider Doing A Twitter-Based Show)
Yaccarino also serves on the board of The Female Quotient, which is “an equality services company that provides thought leadership platforms for women and develops solutions for organizations committed to closing the gender gap in the workplace,” according to her LinkedIn.
Yaccarino was appointed by former President Donald Trump to work with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), serving on the President’s Council on Sports Fitness and Nutrition to advocate for healthy lifestyles from 2018-2021.
“The commitment to open source transparency and accepting a wide range of viewpoints remains unchanged,” Musk tweeted Thursday night.
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