Twitter Director Linda Yaccarino gives the first hint about plans for change

  • by Mariko Oi
  • Business reporter

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Twitter CEO Linda Iaccarino

Linda Iaccarino, the new head of social media company Twitter, has outlined her plans for “Twitter 2.0,” after taking over from Elon Musk a week ago.

She says the company is “on a mission to become the world’s most accurate source of real-time information.”

Since Mr. Musk bought Twitter last year, he has faced criticism over its approach to tackling misinformation.

In a series of tweets, which were also emailed to employees, Iaccarino reiterated Musk’s goal, which is that Twitter should transform the “global city square.”

This, she said, would help “move civilization forward through the unfiltered exchange of information and open dialogue about the things that matter most to us.”

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“Users need to know that the town square is not biased,” Ray Wang, chief executive of Silicon Valley-based research firm Constellation, told the BBC.

Musk, who describes himself as a “free speech tyranny,” has criticized Twitter’s policies on content moderation, arguing that it should be a true forum for free speech.

In order for advertisers to come back, Wang said, they need to know what to expect in terms of user content and engagement.

He added, “She’s definitely someone who can balance Elon and go with him because he respects her.”

Since buying Twitter last year for $44 billion (£35.1 billion), Musk has been under pressure to find someone to lead the company so he can focus on his other businesses, which include electric car maker Tesla and rocket company SpaceX.

Yaccarino is credited with helping guide media giant NBCUniversal through upheaval in the industry resulting from changing technology.

In her previous role, she overhauled the company’s ad sales business and was behind the launch of ad-supported streaming platform Peacock in 2020.

She now oversees business operations at Twitter, which is struggling to make money, while Musk continues as the company’s CEO and chief technology officer.

“We think Linda has a solid vision for Twitter with a lot of wood to chop that can be turned,” said Daniel Ives of Wedbush Securities.

“This is a great first step and she knows the task ahead for Twitter to monetize the platform that remains the golden goose.”

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