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Twitter CEO Says Company Direction Uncertain After Musk Deal

April 26, 2022

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal told employees Monday that he is uncertain of the direction the company will go after Tesla CEO Elon Musk takes over.

Musk reached an agreement Monday to buy Twitter for $44 billion, promising to make the platform more supportive of free speech. The move has raised questions about how far Twitter will go to relax restrictions on users' speech and led critics to fear new policies would make it easier for people to spread disinformation and hate speech.

Agrawal answered employee questions Monday in a town hall that was heard by Reuters.

The news agency reported that Agrawal told employees, "Once the deal closes, we don't know which direction the platform will go." The CEO was answering a question about whether former President Donald Trump would be allowed to rejoin Twitter despite his permanent suspension.

"I believe when we have an opportunity to speak with Elon, it's a question we should address with him," Agrawal said.

Twitter banned Trump after the U.S. Capitol was stormed on January 6, 2021, citing a risk of more violence.

Musk has proposed relaxing the type of content restrictions that led Twitter to suspend the former president's account.

Musk, who is also CEO of rocket developer SpaceX, has said Twitter needs to become a private company so that it can realize its potential for free speech. He has described himself as a "free-speech absolutist."

Reuters reported that Agrawal deferred many staff questions to Musk, who he said would join Twitter staff for a question-and-answer session at a later date.

Agrawal also told employees there were no plans for layoffs.

Musk said in a securities filing this month that he did not have confidence in Twitter's management.

He said in a statement Monday that "free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated."

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