Linda Yaccarino hasn’t been serving as Twitter’s new CEO for very long, and already, she’s publicly pushing the social media company’s owner, Elon Musk, to cave to the wants of corporate advertisers.
While appearing at an event in Miami with Musk that many different campaign managers and advertisers attended, Yaccarino pushed for Musk to consider establishing once against Twitter’s “Influence Council” while also “de-risking” the social media site so corporate advertisers would be happy.
While interviewing Musk at the event at one point, she said:
“Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom of reach. What does it mean to advertisers in this room? Have you de-risked the opportunity or chance of their campaigns landing in these awful hateful places?”
Yaccarino suggested that advertisers should be involved in the decision-making process of what is suitable to be published on Twitter. She said that advertisers “need to feel that there is an opportunity for them to influence what [Musk is] building.”
She even brought up tweets that Musk has sent twice during the conversation. She said he was simply “too provocative” with his tweets, suggesting that he shouldn’t tweet late at night so as to avoid offending any potential advertisers, and to also not risk losing some investments in Twitter.
“Most news organizations have a co-dependent relationship with Twitter, and I can speak on behalf of the industry, but I’ll speak on behalf of my own company. We have a big partnership with your company – [a] big distribution partnership – [there are] days where I see some of your tweets and I say … I wish I could say: stop helping the situation.
“But, should you be held to a different or higher standard that you’re the owner, but you also have the most followers and a lot of people think you might be too provocative?”
She even suggested that Musk shouldn’t send any tweets after 3 a.m. Musk responded firmly to that:
“If I were to say yes, you could influence me that would be wrong. That would be very wrong because that would be a diminishment of freedom of speech.”
Yaccarino didn’t agree, firing back:
“I want to be specific about influencing. It’s more of an open feedback loop for the advertising experts in this room to help develop Twitter into a place where they will be excited about investing money – product development, ad safety, content moderation, that’s what the influence is.”
Yaccarino took over as Twitter’s new CEO back in April. Before taking over in that role, she spent more than 10 years serving as NBC Universal’s chair of global advertising. She also once served as the World Economic Forum’s executive chair.
While serving as an executive with WEF, Yaccarino was “highly engaged with the Value in Media initiative.” One of its goals was to reshape the discourse that’s happening online toward “civility” and to reduce any chance of speech that’s politically incorrect from being OK online.