Following Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, the investigative journalism platform Project Veritas leaked damning interviews of two senior Twitter employees that expose a company culture defined by disdain for free speech, for efficiency, and for its new owner.
In these interviews, one of the senior engineers describes Twitter employees as “commie,” while a Lead Client Partner, a senior representative in charge of maintaining customer and client relations at Twitter, stated that employees at Twitter “believe in something that’s good for the planet” and support taking action to deny free speech to people. Both senior staffers expressed concerns about the impending takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk.
Released on May 16th and 17th respectively, the undercover footage of the Twitter employees confirmed much of what has been speculated about the tech giant. The senior engineer Siru Murugesan said that Twitter employees “hated” the fact that Elon Musk took over the company: “Some of my colleagues are like super Left, Left, Left,” adding that their “jobs are at stake” because “he’s [Elon Musk] a capitalist and we weren’t really operating like capitalists, more like socialists.”
This sentiment was echoed by the Lead Client Partner Alex Martinez, who spoke in another undercover video. When asked by the undercover journalist whether Twitter cares “more about profit or ideology,” Martinez answered: “Right now we don’t make profit.” He confirmed that Twitter was far more ideologically driven, and that this strategy “led us into not being profitable.”
Martinez also defended the use of censorship by Twitter, as opposed to Elon Musk’s clear stance towards free speech. In his judgment, people have few of the critical skills necessary to make good decisions for themselves: “people don’t know how to make rational decisions.” For Martinez, the platform must advertise the ‘right’ content, the “things that are supposed to be out in the public,” Martinez said.
Both employees, Murugesan and Martinez, also confirmed that staff at Twitter had been “revolting” against the acquisition of Twitter by Musk, Murugesan adding that staff started “stress-eating” amidst growing concerns about their jobs. The senior engineer also confirmed the active censorship of right-wing opinions on Twitter: “It’s true. There is bias.” In his perception, the Left will not be willing to tolerate a lack of right-wing censorship, threatening to otherwise leave the platform.
But with the takeover by Musk this bias might disappear, according to Murugesan. Disgruntled right-wingers might come back, because “Elon is the new Trump” and people join platforms “because they want to look up to a leader who will protect them and give them safety.” But whereas Murugesan believes the Right will feel “safer” with Elon Musk in charge, he predicts the Left might leave, as he doesn’t know whether “the two parties can truly coexist on one platform.”
Murugesan’s statements also shine a devastating light on the company culture at Twitter. He admits going to work for “four hours a week last quarter,” but said he was starting to “put in more hours” because he wants to get promoted. While Elon Musk had announced in a tweet on May 7th that “work ethic expectations [at Twitter] would be extreme, but much less than I demand of myself” after his takeover, this would come as a harsh change of pace for Twitter employees, who, according to Murugesan, so far “get to do whatever they want:”
At Twitter, mental health is everything, if you are not feeling it, you can take a few days off. People have taken months off; but they will come back. That’s the culture and we’ll run the business as much as possible. Capitalists would say: ‘you have to try to make profits or you’re out.’ A lot of people won’t survive in such a culture. A lot of companies don’t follow such a culture.
While Martinez believes the sale of Twitter was “all about money,” Murugesan thinks that if the board of directors had not approved the sale, they could have been sued by stakeholders. This, in turn, would have endangered the personal wealth of the board of directors. Murugesan, who self-identifies as a communist, concluded: “They looked out for themselves as they should because they have families.”
Martinez can be seen ridiculing Musk’s Asperger’s syndrome, calling Musk repeatedly out as being “special needs” and claiming that he’s “not able to take you [Musk] seriously” because of that.
Twitter has opted not to comment on these leaks and hasn’t answered any of the numerous requests for commentary by either Project Veritas itself, or other news outlets such as Fox News.
David Boos is an organist, documentary filmmaker, and writer for The European Conservative and other publications.