ABC’s “The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg announced on Wednesday that she’s leaving Twitter and called Elon Musk’s week-long tenure “a mess.”
During an off-the-rails segment on the show, Goldberg and the panel discussed Musk’s takeover of Twitter. Goldberg kicked off things by detailing reports of staff firings, changes to “Twitter Blue,” and even the recent news of comedian Kathy Griffin getting banned from Twitter after she used Musk’s name and photo on her account as what she called a parody.
“I’m getting off today because I just feel like it’s so messy, and I’m tired of now having certain kinds of attitudes blocked now getting back on. So I’m gonna get out, and if it settles down enough and I feel more comfortable maybe I’ll come back. But as of tonight, I’m done with Twitter,” Goldberg began.
Co-host Sunny Hostin agreed with Goldberg, saying, “It’s become such a hellscape.”
“I follow legal scholars there, I follow SCOTUS blog, I follow thought leaders, and it’s such a good place for that,” Hostin said, adding, “And now you’ve got this Elon Musk turning it into something it was never intended to be. He says it’s going to be ‘the public square.’ Well, I don’t want to be part of that public square but I also don’t want to miss the valuable information that can be put on there.”
Goldberg wrapped up the segment by noting, “People keep saying it’s free speech, but all speech is not free speech. Some speech is not okay free speech. So everybody has to agree on that, but if people keep saying ‘You hurt my free speech” it’s going to be a problem. You know what? This is our problem. But it ain’t my problem today because I’m out.”
Last week, Musk announced that he will be roughly half of Twitter’s 7,500 worldwide employees.
“Regarding Twitter’s reduction in force, unfortunately there is no choice when the company is losing over $4M/day. Everyone [who] exited was offered 3 months of severance, which is 50% more than legally required,” he explained on the platform.
He added that “Twitter’s strong commitment to content moderation remains absolutely unchanged,” while noting that “hateful speech” on the platform had “declined below prior norms” since he acquired the platform, contrary to many expectations.
Despite the mass layoffs, the platform’s 2000 content moderators were mostly “not impacted,” according to Twitter’s Head of Safety and Integrity Yoel Roth. He added that the daily volume of “moderation actions” is the same under Musk as it was under the previous leadership.
As the midterms approach, Roth also stated that combatting “harmful misinformation that can suppress the vote” remains Twitter’s “top priority.”
Before making his statement, Musk said that Twitter experienced a “massive drop in revenue” after left-wing “activist groups” pressured advertisers to leave the platform, accusing them of “trying to destroy free speech in America.”
This comes as Musk will try to turn around Twitter’s performance after it has failed to turn a profit for years.
But already, there have been unhinged attacks against Musk and his team, including from President Joe Biden, who accused Musk of “buying an outfit that sends and spews lies all across the world” during a fundraiser in Illinois Friday evening. “There’s no editors anymore in America.”
“How do we expect kids to be able to understand what is at stake? What is at stake? So there’s a lot going on, a lot going on. But we have an enormous opportunity, enormous opportunity,” Biden added.
After several advertisers suspended their ads on the platform, Musk threatened to go nuclear on those groups who pushed for them to leave.
As advertisers have begun to question their relationships with Twitter, after the new CEO has taken control, he said that caving to the left boycotts will have a “thermonuclear” reaction and he will name and shame those companies.
“Twitter has had a massive drop in revenue, due to activist groups pressuring advertisers, even though nothing has changed with content moderation and we did everything we could to appease the activists. Extremely messed up! They’re trying to destroy free speech in America,” he noted on Twitter.
“It’s time to stop appeasing the activists because they will stop at nothing to hurt Twitter regardless of what you do,” conservative Ian Miles Cheong said in response, prompting Musk to reply, “You’re right.”