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Vijaya Gadde, Twitter lawyer who ensured ban on Trump & Joe Rogan podcast, not to Musk’s liking

Since Twitter's new owner Elon Musk has been critical of the platform's leftist censorship, his criticism of Vijaya Gadde was part of his belief system, but the left-leaning media is blaming him for the trolling the Indian-American lawyer faced following his tweet

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It has turned out that the hand that turned Twitter despotic was Indian- and not White American. Variously described as “the most powerful social media executive you’ve never heard of” and “Joseph Goebbels in a pant suit”, Vijaya Gadde is the company’s head of legal, policy and trust and issues. She leads a team of executives that preside over content moderation too. She not only made sure then-US President Donald Trump was banned on the micro-blogging platform during the final days of his tenure but also deplatformed a very popular podcast, one by Joe Rogan. And Twitter’s new owner, the richest man in the world, Elon Musk did not like it.

And the left-leaning media is accusing Musk of opening the floodgates of tweets by users targeting the lawyer.

On 26 April, a day after the Twitter board approved his deal to buy 100% stake in the company, Musk targeted Gadde, criticising her for “suspending the Twitter account of a major news organization for publishing a truthful story” and saying, it was “obviously incredibly inappropriate”.

The Tesla chief made the comment in his reply to a tweet by Saagar Enjeti, an Indian- conservative commentator and co-host of the Breaking Points with Krystal and Saagar podcast. Enjeti, in his tweet, referred to a Politico report that Gadde broke into tears at a meeting with her staff this week after Musk’s buyout of Twitter. “Vijaya Gadde, the top censorship advocate at Twitter who famously gaslit the world on Joe Rogan’s podcast and censored the Hunter Biden laptop story, is very upset about the @elonmusk takeover,” Enjeti wrote.

Content moderation on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook has long been a contentious space. Tech experts fear that letting platforms decide what content is appropriate and what is not ascribes them power that befits only the police or the courts of law in a democracy.

Two years ago, Vijaya Gadde played an instrumental role in not only initiated a lifetime ban on former US President Trump but also ensured more and more Republican voices are given the boot. Vijaya Gadde had also triggered a row in India during a visit by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey when some activists blamed her for him holding up a placard that read “Smash Patriarchy”. The lib-left face of Indian journalism, Barkha Dutt, happened to share the frame in some of the photo-ops, giving many commentators on the right side in this country a chance to quip that she proves a bad omen for whoever she is seen with, but that’s a side story.

Anyway, Vijaya Gadde, perhaps not ready to anger any section of the caste demography in India, had apologised for the incident. But that was not the last of the controversies the Indian- lawyer stoked. She also pulled down a report that exposed current US President Joe Biden’s son Hunter’s scandal.

Enjeti mentioned The Post story that had alleged that Hunter Biden had inappropriate links with an executive at a Ukrainian energy firm. Twitter later reversed the move but not before it was accused of censoring information that could have hurt a Democratic candidate.

Musk’s comment led to a barrage of critical and condemning comments from Twitter users. Some used expletives or racist slurs, referring to Gadde’s Indian heritage, including words like “curry,” and references to India’s caste system. Others used expletives or derogatory language and blamed her for having “destroyed countless Twitter accounts for speaking the truth”. Some called for her to be fired or suggested she should leave on her own. Some of the abusive tweets were later removed for violating Twitter rules.

Yesterday, Musk posted another tweet with a meme about Twitter’s “left wing bias”. It featured Gadde’s face and drew a rebuke from former Twitter Chief Executive Officer Dick Costolo, who asked why Musk was “making an executive at the company you just bought the target of harassment and threats”.

Clearly, Musk has been peeved by Twitter’s leftist censorship and Vijaya Gadde happened to be a part of that anti-left package that the new owner’s belief system is. But the leftist media holds him accountable for all the slurs that the Indian- lawyer had to face since his tweet disapproving of her highhanded conduct.

Musk has often said his goal is to make the social media platform a bastion of free speech. “By ‘free speech,’ I simply mean that which matches the law,” he said in a tweet Tuesday. “I am against censorship that goes far beyond the law.”

Yes, Musk tends to troll on occasions. He had taken a dig at too, posting a meme last year where this other Indian’s face was superimposed on that of Joseph Stalin, the communist dictator other than Mao Zedong whom the lib-left brigade is loath to criticise. The doctored image depicted Agrawal, formerly Twitter’s chief technology officer, purging co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey, just as Stalin did to Soviet secret police chief Nikolai Yezhov.

But Musk also insists his critics must stay on Twitter. Can Vijaya Gadde have a problem with that? Or will that supposed policy of Musk extend to his company management to ensure she is not fired?

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