by Claire Duffy | CNN Business
Elon Musk is set to ask Twitter employees direct questions for the first time this weekend as he agreed to buy the social media company.
Musk will take pre-submitted employee questions in a virtual all-hands meeting on Thursday, a Twitter spokesperson confirmed to CNN Business. The news of the meeting was first reported by Insider.
A day after Twitter and Musk announced the acquisition agreement in April, Twitter CEO Parag Agarwal and board chairman Brett Taylor held an all-round meeting. They were beset with questions about everything from what the deal would mean for his compensation to what Musk’s acquisition might mean for the company’s commitment to ethical artificial intelligence. Agarwal told employees that he would like to take time out for employees to ask Musk direct questions.
This week’s meeting with employees will come against a backdrop of uncertainty over the $44 billion deal, much of which is a direct result of Musk’s public statements. It also comes as several employees and industry watchers have publicly raised concerns about how Musk might enhance Twitter’s products and internal culture.
Musk has been saying for weeks that the deal is “on hold” pending more information about the number of spam bots on the platform. Last week, the Tesla CEO issued his most direct threat that he might walk away from the acquisition. In a letter sent to a Twitter executive, a lawyer for Musk alleged that the company is “actively opposing and undermining his information rights” by giving him a wide range of data, as outlined in the deal. By denying access to it, Musk says it will help him analyze bots on the platform.
According to a Washington Post report last week, Twitter now plans to hand over its “firehose” data — which includes information about tweets and the devices and accounts that post them — to Musk in response to his request. In. However, it is not clear whether Musk will be able to use it to effectively count bots on the platform. Twitter declined to comment on the report. The company regularly releases its estimates of the number of bots on the platform, and has said that such accounts make up less than 5% of monetized daily active users.
While Musk has been publicly fixated on the number of bots, analysts have suggested that focusing on them may be an attempt to create an excuse to pull out of a deal that Musk is now more aware of after the plunging of tech stocks. can be seen as a value. Shares of Tesla, which Musk is using partly to support his financing of the Twitter deal, have also declined sharply since the deal was proposed.
Employees are also likely to have questions about how Musk’s plan to promote “free speech” on the platform may affect his years of work on content moderation practices. Musk has said he plans to remove most of the permanent restrictions on Twitter, bring back former President Donald Trump and other suspended accounts, and avoid regulating all except illegal speech on the platform.
Employees can also ask Musk about his plans for workplace culture and options for working from home, a practice Twitter has considered resilient since the start of the pandemic. According to a leaked email obtained by CNN, Musk earlier this month told Tesla executives to personally return to work or leave the company.
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