WASHINGTON (TND) — Following the resignation of longtime Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, the man at the helm of one of the largest social media platforms in history says Twitter's “role is not to be bound by the First Amendment.”
When asked about Twitter’s role in protecting free speech during an interview with the MIT Technology Review last year, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal said the company’s “role is not to be bound by the First Amendment, but our role is to serve a healthy public conversation and our moves are reflective of things that we believe lead to a healthier public conversation.”
“The kinds of things that we do about this is, focus less on thinking about free speech, but thinking about how the times have changed,” Agrawal continued during the interview. “Most people can speak. Where our role is particularly emphasized is who can be heard.”
In 2012, a top UK Twitter executive said the platform takes a “neutral” view of posts by its users “because our general council and CEO like to say that we are the free speech wing of the free speech party,” according to The Guardian.
Since then, Twitter has come under fire for an alleged pattern of censoring conservative voices -- an allegation the platform denies.
Agrawal has also made controversial statements on Twitter about race. “If they are not gonna make a distinction between muslims and extremists, then why should I distinguish between white people and racists," he said.
Bret Taylor, Twitter's incoming Independent Board Chair, said that “Parag understands Twitter and appreciates the Company's unique potential,” according to a Twitter press release. Prior to being appointed CEO, Agrawal had been Twitter’s Chief Technology Officer since 2017.
“I look forward to building on everything we have accomplished under Jack's leadership and I am incredibly energized by the opportunities ahead,” said Agrawal about his appointment to CEO. “By continuing to improve our execution, we will deliver tremendous value for our customers and shareholders as we reshape the future of public conversation.”