New Twitter CEO de-prioritizes free speech in favor of addressing ‘harm’

December 5, 2021

Washington Examiner

The appointment of Parag Agrawal as the CEO of Twitter has alarmed conservatives because of his statements that he does not prioritize free speech and that his platform is not neutral when it comes to content.

At the same time, though, technology industry insiders expect that based on Agrawal’s engineering background, he will also likely push the platform to provide users with greater choice in content moderation.

Agrawal, 37, who took over the social media giant from former CEO Jack Dorsey earlier this week, joined Twitter in 2011 as a software engineer before rising through the ranks to become the company’s chief technology officer in 2017 and one of Dorsey’s closest advisers.

Agrawal is taking control as social media giants face increasing scrutiny from the Left and the Right and a heightened threat of significant regulation. In outlining his thoughts on content moderation in an interview with the MIT Technology Review in November, Agrawal said Twitter is trying to balance mitigating harm caused by false content and misinformation without becoming an arbiter of truth.

“Our role is not to be bound by the First Amendment, but our role is to serve a healthy public conversation, and our moves are reflective of things that we believe lead to a healthier public conversation,” Agrawal said .

“The kinds of things that we do about this is: Focus less on thinking about free speech, but thinking about how the times have changed,” he added.

The new policy and Agrawal’s past comments, along with old tweets , indicate he could be more aggressive about policing content.

“Based on the new Twitter CEO’s tweets and interviews, it appears that Twitter’s censorship will only get worse,” said Mike Davis, president of the Internet Accountability Project, a conservative advocacy group. “His new policy on private video and photos and his rhetoric on speech issues show a pattern of behavior that it’s likely more content will be taken down.”

Sign up to stay informed

Unlike the Big Tech monopolies, the Internet Accountability Project pledges to never sell or share your personal information, which is your property.