Washington Post tech and online culture reporter Taylor Lorenz skewered Elon Musk’s management of Twitter, calling it a “disaster” during a recent interview on BBC World News.
Lorenz also ripped the billionaire for calling himself an advocate of free speech, saying he has gone to “insane lengths to silence people” on the platform.
Lorenz’s BBC spot aired on the international channel last week, providing commentary in the wake of Musk laying off several workers and asking Twitter employees to commit to either work “extremely hardcore” or leave the company.
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Lorenz did not pull her punches. Right out of the gate, she stated, “Well it’s an absolute disaster, as you mentioned. You know Elon has basically alienated the vast majority of the company, telling everyone that unless they basically clicked a link last night and agreed to be ‘hardcore,’ you know, they were gonna be out of a job.”
“And most Twitter employees said that they’d rather leave than agree to those terms,” she added.
The host asked what “hardcore” meant, to which Lorenz replied, “It’s completely unclear.” She claimed that “Elon has kinda been firing people at whim, um he has notoriously fired people who have spoken out or just retweeted or engaged with negative tweets about him or posted something making fun of him in Slack.”
She then characterized him as an overbearing dictator running the show.
“I think hardcore basically means unwavering loyalty to Elon,” she said.
Lorenz also said that “a lot of former Twitter employees are just grateful to be out of there,” adding that before Musk, Twitter had a “really positive and open culture and one of free speech and transparency.”
However, under Musk, Lorenz claimed there has been a “complete backslide” from that.
The host mentioned Musk being a “free speech advocate,” a notion the Washington Post columnist disputed. Lorenz replied, “Well there’s absolutely nothing about Elon Musk that’s a free speech advocate, I mean he’s just notorious been super anti-free speech over the years.”
“Cracking down on anybody that speaks out against him, um, you know, he has intimidated journalists, he has intimidated whistleblowers, um, and now you see him on Twitter once again just cracking down super hard on any sort of open expression and free speech,” she said.
“You know, he will really go to insane lengths to silence people and to kind of, get them to shut up,” the reporter said in summary.
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Some critics on Twitter did not buy her arguments.
Conservative journalist Ian Miles Cheong, who shared the clip to Twitter Wednesday, wrote, “Washington Post hack Taylor Lorenz went on the BBC to lie about @elonmusk.”
Skewering Lorenz’s argument, Cheong added, “Since @elonmusk took over Twitter, not a single activist or journalist who lied about him, his education, upbringing, or how he runs his businesses has been silenced or deplatformed. They continue to lie about him with no consequences. The claim that he is censorious is a lie.”
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Conservative influencer Ariadna Jacob commented, “She never stops lying…”
Popular conservative account “The Columbia Bugle” tweeted, “Would be hilarious if [Musk] sued her into oblivion.”