Many are suddenly fearful that Elon Musk just pulled a "Bud Light," or sold out and went against everything he was claiming to stand for with his announcement of the woman he has chosen as his new Twitter CEO.
Just as many were starting to feel confident that Twitter really was going to become a platform for free speech, Musk announced that he has picked one-time NBCUniversal advertising executive Linda Yaccarino as the person he wants to take over the day-to-day operations at the social media outlet.
With a background thats' controversial among conservatives, Yaccarino raises concerns that she could be a Twitter version of Alissa Heinerscheid, the Bud Light marketing vice president behind the promotional campaign featuring a transgender influence that has devastated the beer brand.
This pick has filled no one interested in free speech with anything close to confidence.
On Friday, Musk took to Twitter to announce that Yaccarino would be starting as Twitter chief in six weeks.
"I am excited to welcome Linda Yaccarino as the new CEO of Twitter!" He wrote, adding that Yaccarino "will focus primarily on business operations, while I focus on product design & new technology."
"Looking forward to working with Linda to transform this platform into X, the everything app," he said.
He added that he will transition his own role to "being exec chair & CTO, overseeing product, software & sysops (systems operations)."
I am excited to welcome Linda Yaccarino as the new CEO of Twitter!@LindaYacc will focus primarily on business operations, while I focus on product design & new technology.
Looking forward to working with Linda to transform this platform into X, the everything app. https://t.co/TiSJtTWuky
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 12, 2023
This choice, though, troubled many of Musk's recently converted fans. By the replies to his excited announcement, it did not appear that many felt this particular applicant had any interest at all in his concept of free speech.
Many of the comments referred to an interview Yaccarino conducted with Musk in April. The two were on stage at the "Possible" marketing convention in Miami, according to Fortune.
“I have to push you a little, because there’s a lot of folks in this room, they vote with their pocketbooks," Yaccarino told Musk in front of the audience, Fortune reported.
Twitter user Billboard Chris, whose Twitter biography identifies him as a Canadian activist against "sexual transitioning" for minors, put it quite succinctly.
"During her interview with you, she was most excited about your initiative to limit reach of tweets which are deemed hateful. 'Freedom of speech, not freedom of reach,'" he wrote in a Twitter post, responding to Musk's announcement.
"In fact, that was her main selling point to the advertising exes in the audience, as she kept coming back to it," he continued. "She went on to chastise you twice for tweeting after 3am, because people are concerned about that sort of behavior. What?
"She also wanted advertising execs to be part of an influence council within Twitter," he added. "She‘a not here to improve the user experience. She wants Twitter to be a ‘safe space.'
"She represents advertisers, and her natural inclination is to limit speech, and pander to those who push woke ideology on the world. You will have to watch her like a hawk," he continued. "She was also thrilled to spend $100,000,000 on social justice initiatives while at NBC, and forwarded government authoritarian propaganda that the way back to a normal life was to 'wear your mask!'"
"No doubt she’ll bring in advertising revenue in the short term, but she’s a long-term mistake," the tweet concluded.
During her interview with you, she was most excited about your initiative to limit reach of tweets which are deemed hateful. “Freedom of speech, not freedom of reach.”
In fact, that was her main selling point to the advertising exes in the audience, as she kept coming back to…
— Billboard Chris 🇨🇦🇺🇸 (@BillboardChris) May 12, 2023
Musk actually replied to Billboard Chris, and wrote, "I hear your concerns, but don’t judge too early. I am adamant about defending free speech, even if it means losing money."
I hear your concerns, but don’t judge too early. I am adamant about defending free speech, even if it means losing money.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 12, 2023
Many were not assuaged by Musk's assurances that everything will be just fine.
Hundreds of replies poured in from users who are convinced that this CEO pick will send Twitter backward into the old, anti-free speech, pro-censorship ways that usually were only aimed at quashing the center-right side of the political aisle.
Yaccarino serves as chair of the WEF Taskforce on the Future of Work and is a member of a committee for media, entertainment and culture, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Elon, if you were truly adamant about defending free speech you would not hire as your CEO a person who works for organizations such as NBC and the World Economic Forum who strongly promote censorship and the control of all information especially public health information.
— Truth Justice ™ (@SpartaJustice) May 13, 2023
Well, @lindayacc's track record doesn't look that promising. I've been watching her videos for two hours today, and she's been pro censorship, pro WEF, pro masks, pro experimental gene therapies, and pro lockdowns. I don't care what she's saying now, she has already said enough.
— Dr. Simon Goddek (@goddeketal) May 12, 2023
One post included video of Yaccarino, who graduated Penn State in 1985, strongly urging the wearing of masks as part of Penn State's "Mask Up or Pack Up" campaign dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Anyone who this joyfully embraces destroying civil liberties 👇 is not qualified to be a guardian of free speech.pic.twitter.com/v53OtgqgUO
— IT Guy (@ITGuy1959) May 12, 2023
Another used her position with the World Economic Forum to link her to liberal billionaire George Soros.
So the new CEO of Twitter it’s going to be someone that was/is groomed by George Soros? You have to be kidding me!!
— Freddy (@FreddyDEFI) May 12, 2023
And for many, Musk's word wasn't good enough.
Unfortunately the previous leaders of Twitter were under oath giving testimony and lied. How can anyone trust her because you said so. We look at her resume and it's a HUGE RED FLAG!
— C. Kennedy (@ck07712) May 12, 2023
Sadly, every single aspect about this woman's career, her affiliations, her past jobs, and her comments screams "left-wing lunatic" to many Twitter users. And this has them worried that the old Twitter that shadow bans everyone but far leftists, censors speech from everyone but far leftists, and cancels the accounts of anyone who is not a far leftist will be right back with us as soon as she takes over from Musk.
During that April interview, she reportedly urged Musk to bring back the "influence council" that was so often used to quash the free speech of conservatives, according to the U.K. Daily Mail.
Twitter's new CEO Linda Yaccarino wants to leverage content moderation to help make advertisers excited to invest more money in Twitter. Elon Musk seems to accept the idea, despite being unwilling to have his free speech diminished. pic.twitter.com/sv24bAh21p
— Expose Them (@ExposeDarkDeeds) May 12, 2023
Clearly, her vision is to bring back censorship, to constrain free speech, and too re-install heavy moderating all to make lefty advertisers feel better about bringing their ad dollars to the company -- the very advertisers that Musk himself said have been working to "destroy free speech."
So, what is on her resume? Nothing that builds confidence that she will be a free speech advocate, for sure.
As noted in some of the tweets above, Yaccarino was a very vocal advocate of mass job loss, lockdowns, COVID vaccinations, and forced masking during the pandemic hysteria.
Of course, another big red flag for many was Yaccarino's work with the much-derided World Economic Forum.
For many, these are all signs that Yaccarino is a typical left-winger who will work to undermine everything Musk has tried to do at Twitter so far. Few can understand how this woman's career to date jibes with Musk's campaign for free speech.
Time will tell, granted. We are all hopeful that Musk will keep his hand on the tiller and continue guiding the ship of Twitter toward free speech. But to many, Yaccarino is evidence of a bait and switch.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.