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Twitter to be ‘most accurate real-time info source’ – news boss

Linda Yaccarino says the company is "on a mission to become the world's most accurate real-time information source".

Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino. PHOTO | BBC

The new boss of social media firm Twitter, Linda Yaccarino, has outlined her plans for “Twitter 2.0.”, after taking over from Elon Musk a week ago.

She says the company is “on a mission to become the world’s most accurate real-time information source”.

Since Mr Musk bought Twitter last year, it has faced criticism over its approach to tackling disinformation.

In the last month, the company lost its head of trust and safety and pulled out of the EU’s disinformation code.

In a series of tweets, which was also emailed to employees, Ms Yaccarino echoed Mr Musk’s goal, that Twitter must transform the “global town square”.

She said this would help “drive civilisation forward through the unfiltered exchange of information and open dialogue about the things that matter most to us.”

“Users need to know that the town square is not biased,” Ray Wang, the chief executive of Silicon Valley-based research firm Constellation told the BBC.

Mr Musk, who is a self-described “free speech absolutist”, has criticised Twitter’s policies on moderating content, arguing that it needed to be a genuine forum for free speech.

But his moves to reinstate right-wing accounts, whose views he has shared, and loosen moderation have driven away advertisers. In December, revenue reportedly fell by 40% to a year earlier.

For advertisers to return, they need to know what to expect in terms of user content and engagement, Mr Wang said.

“She is definitely someone who can balance out Elon and go toe-to-toe with him as he respects her,” he added.

Since buying Twitter last year for $44bn (£35.1bn), Mr Musk had been under pressure to find someone to lead the firm so that he could focus on his other businesses, which include electric carmaker Tesla and rocket firm SpaceX.

On 12 May, Mr Musk, who recently reclaimed the title of the world’s richest person, announced that Ms Yaccarino would succeed him as the chief executive of Twitter in six weeks time.

However, she started the role earlier than expected, just days after the resignation of the firm’s head of trust and safety.

Ms Yaccarino is credited with helping to steer media giant NBCUniversal through upheaval in the industry caused by changing technology.

In her former role, she overhauled the company’s advertising sales business and was behind the 2020 launch of its advert-supported streaming platform Peacock.

She now oversees business operations at Twitter, which has been struggling to make money, while Mr Musk continues as the company’s executive chairman and chief technology officer.

“We believe Linda has a solid vision for Twitter with a lot of wood to chop that can be turned around,” Daniel Ives from Wedbush Securities said.

“This is a great first step and she knows the task ahead for Twitter to monetise the platform which remains the golden goose.”

Story by BBC.