As the new CEO of Twitter, it did not take Elon Musk to find his way around and hit his stride.
Shortly after taking over the platform on Thursday, Musk went to work firing several top officials at the company, including one responsible for banning former President Donald Trump.
Musk dismissed the current Twitter chief executive officer Parag Agrawal, chief financial officer Ned Segal, top legal and policy executive Vijaya Gadde, and general counsel Sean Edgett, according to a report from The New York Times that cited confidential sources. The report added that at least one executive was escorted out of the office after being fired.
Earlier in the day, Musk explained why he was buying the popular platform.
“The reason I acquired Twitter is because it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence,” he wrote in a statement posted to his own Twitter account.
“There is currently great danger that social media will splinter into far right wing and far left wing echo chambers that generate more hate and divide our society,” he added. “In the relentless pursuit of clicks, much of traditional media has fueled and catered to those polarized extremes, as they believe that is what brings in the money, but, in doing so, the opportunity for dialogue is lost.”
Critics of the platform’s past selective enforcement of its own terms of service have expressed hope that under Musk, there will be much more balance to the platform and far less censorship overall, especially of conservative voices. By comparison, many on the left are fearful that too much “hate speech” will now be allowed on the platform, which is generally just speech and views they don’t like.
To that end, Musk may also be looking to reverse previous bans, according to separate reports.
In addition to Trump, other conservative notables have been booted from the platform, including GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Laura Loomer, Project Veritas Founder James O’Keefe, Steve Bannon, Alex Jones, and Milo Yiannopoulos.
“The person with knowledge of Musk’s account reinstatement intentions said it’s unclear whether Trump will be allowed to return to Twitter,” Bloomberg reported.
Musk has said previously that Twitter should not have banned the former president and that he should be reinstated.
“It was not correct to ban Donald Trump,” he said in May. “I think that was a mistake, because it alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice.”
“He’s now going to be on Truth Social, as will a large part of the right in the United States. So, I think this could end up being, frankly, worse than having a single forum where everyone can debate,” he said.
“I would reverse the Twitter ban. Obviously, I don’t own Twitter yet, so this is not a thing that will definitely happen,” he said.