Selective Leaks of Previous Discussions & Policy Debates In The Name of ‘Transparency’ Would Put Twitter Employees At Risk
Typing “I know this makes me sound like a crazy person but..” as a blog post opener is usually a good reason to close my browser window and take a walk. But hey, it’s 2022, let’s soldier onward…
Since it was announced that Twitter’s Board of Directors and Elon Musk had reached an agreement to pursue a sale of the company there’s been a lot of speculation about how the service could change under his ownership.
Personally I’ve been upfront about my distaste for his style of abusive shitposting, impressed by his will to get things done, and saddened by the lack of vigor from Twitter’s Board and C-suite.
But I believe in capitalism and the will of markets, so if Elon ends up as owner I’m not going to cry liberal tears and close my account ASAP, I’m just going to shrug and see how things do. I’ve already changed my relationship with the service earlier in the pandemic, removing 98% of the accounts I’d previously followed and, as a result, spending much less time letting other people insert themselves into my day. However as the press covers Musk’s antics and speculates what the company’s content policies could be going forward to fit one person’s mutated version of ‘free speech,’ there’s another concern that’s not getting enough attention IMO: what’s about to happen to Twitter employees.
No, not their stock options or employment (job cuts are almost certainly coming but we’re in a robust market for talent and I’m assuming there are already many folks proactively looking for new opportunities), but the internal communications that sit within HQ. Namely, the years of emails and documents that detail debates over policy and legal stances. The chance of these getting selectively leaked by a new owner (or their proxy cutouts) just went up.
Get prepared for what looks like ‘embarrassing’ revelations around off the record chats, correspondence with politicians, poorly phrased questions or suggestions, and even an exploration of possible policy outcomes that seems biased. Yes friends, TwikiLeaks is looming.
Remember Musk has his family office manager use a pseudonym to hire a private investigator to dig up invented pedo dirt on someone who challenged him.
And is grossly slamming Twitter legal and trust & safety executives.
You don’t think publishing some “skeletons in the closet” in the name of transparency is beneath him or his hangers on? Like I said at the beginning, I know this makes me sound like a crazy person….
If I worked at Twitter I’d be using the next few months (the deal is still pending) to reduce my PII footprint, change passwords/2FA accounts and so on. Oh, and Twitter management should offer something like Tall Poppy as a benefit.
Look, maybe I’m overreacting and this would be beyond the pale for the new owner or team, who do need to keep the service running as a business (or at least I think he does, who knows). But the chance of something like this happening just went up and last time we had Pizzagate as an outcome.