Billionaire industrialist Elon Musk took over Twitter Thursday night and immediately fired several top executives, sending shockwaves throughout the social media platform.
CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal and head of legal policy, trust, and safety Vijaya Gadde were all fired after Musk had accused them of misleading him and investors over the number of fake accounts on the platform, a source with knowledge of the matter told FOX Business.
Editor-in-chief of The Federalist Mollie Hemingway described the firings as “An excellent start” to Musk’s tenure in a tweet.
Co-Host of Breaking Points Saagar Enjeti posted emoji hands waving “bye” while retweeting a post of his from April where he had written that, “Vijaya Gadde, the top censorship advocate at Twitter who famously gaslit the world on Joe Rogan’s podcast and censored the Hunter Biden laptop story, is very upset about the @elonmusk takeover.”
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Recently ousted CNN host Brian Stelter retweeted a post from Musk from April asking if Twitter was a dying platform. Stelter wrote, “What a long strange trip it’s been.”
But several others were very upset at the news. Techdirt writer/editor Mike Masnick shared a different opinion about Gadde, claiming, “People do not realize how much @vijaya did for free speech. Twitter is less of a free speech platform without her.”
Uproxx writer Mike Redmond wrote, “I don’t think any of us are prepared for how quickly this whole site is about to go down. It’s a miracle flames aren’t shooting out of it already.”
“Yay, manbaby with poor impulse control and edgelord tendencies has the helm. Sweet,” tweeted writer Dylan Reeve.
“I would be so happy if I’m wrong. But the [sic] all the red lights are flashing here,” warned NBC News “disinformation” reporter Ben Collins.
Controversial tech columnist Taylor Lorenz tweeted, “It’s like the gates of hell opened on this site tonight.”
Liberal academic and journalism professor Jeff Jarvis’ reaction upon hearing the news was, “The sun is dark.” Earlier in the day, he had warned, “This is an emergency! Twitter is to be taken over by the evil Sith lord.”
Jarvis is no stranger to Twitter hyperbole. In April when Musk’s plans to acquire Twitter first became part of the news cycle, he tweeted, “Today on Twitter feels like the last evening in a Berlin nightclub at the twilight of Weimar Germany.”
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Others in media expressed more general outrage about Twitter’s change in leadership before the news was official, claiming that the platform would suffer, with some even threatening to leave it altogether.
Forbes sustainability senior contributor Dave Vetter tweeted, “After Elon has demolished Twitter, where will you go? Ideas below, please.”
He later responded to another commentator by clarifying that “I’m not leaving until the platform becomes essentially unusable or until I’m banned, whichever comes first. But if he does what he says he wants to do, I don’t see how Twitter will continue to function.”
In a now-deleted tweet, liberal journalist Molly Jong-Fast asked, “Can someone make a new Twitter or is this a very stupid question?”
Disgraced CBS anchor Dan Rather used famous lyrics by punk band The Clash to express wariness about Twitter’s future as a platform, writing, “With this Twitter thing maybe changing considerably. a question I am asking: Should I stay or should I go now? If I go, there will be trouble And if I stay it will be double So come on and let me know Should I stay or should I go?”
Noah Berlatsky, a journalist who has written for NBC Think and The Atlantic, responded to what he called an “extremely silly” tweet comparing people threatening to quit Twitter to those who had pledged to move to Canada when Trump won.
“Moving to canada requires a major logistical and financial difficulties. leaving twitter requires you to click a button,” he tweeted. “a huge number of people will leave this platform instantly, because Musk is really controversial and disliked.”
Berlatsky said later in his thread that “musk literally bought the company to troll people and target a big percentage of his user base. so yeah, a lot of those people will leave.”
Even as they predicted doom, many vowed to stay on the platform despite its change in leadership but promoted themselves on other platforms.
Podcaster and author Sarah Kendzior appeared to suggest that Twitter will become a “hellscape” under Musk’s new leadership.
“I’m not planning on leaving Twitter any more than I plan on leaving Missouri. I’m used to navigating a hellscape and finding the beauty that remains,” she wrote, while asking “those leaving” to subscribe to her podcast and Patreon.
MSNBC and NBC writer Joyce Alene tweeted that she would not leave the platform, but offered followers “concerned about what the future may look like here on Twitter” an alternate means of keeping tabs on her work. She wrote, “So, just to be clear. I’m not leaving Twitter. But I’m that girl, who always likes to have an alternative way to stay in touch with friends just in case.”
Lorenz similarly plugged her Substack “before Twitter implodes,” asking people to subscribe “to keep in touch if twitter falls off!!!!”
Jarvis declared he wouldn’t leave the platform and urged others to “stay and fight.” He tweeted, “I’m not leaving Twitter. Can’t get rid of me that easily, Elon. But I fear friends will leave town & we will lose touch. I hope not. Please stay. Fight for the weird little world we’ve built until @rabble & @arcalinea & their allies can build a new world that can’t be bought.”
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Former Huffington Post writer Michael Hobbes retweeted a commenter who claimed, “Most of the major social networks are now inside the bubble: Facebook and YouTube are absolutely dominated by right-wing stories and voices. And now Twitter is under the total private control of a Thiel/Trump/Putin ally.”
Hobbes added a somber take of his own, saying, “I’m finding it pretty hard to make jokes about Elon buying Twitter. Nearly every American media institution is now openly right-wing or obsessed with giving reactionaries the benefit of the doubt. What’s the case for optimism about the next decade at this point?”
Not all commentators lamented the change in leadership, however.
LibsofTikTok appeared to joke that now the tables have turned, and Musk is the one who can hold left-wing accounts for misinformation, or in this case, failing to update their bios quickly enough.
“Hey @elonmusk, Parag is spreading misinformation in his Twitter bio and pretending he’s the CEO of your company,” the account tweeted.
Editor-in-chief Kyle Mann of political satire website The Babylon Bee made a video portraying a man in “Twitter jail” lamenting the living conditions until he was busted out by Elon Musk. “[A]ctual footage of @thebabylonbee in twitter jail,” he tweeted.