Parag Agrawal—replacing Twitter’s Dorsey—is apparently an opponent of free speech and has sent tweets about all white people being racist.
- Agrawal tweeted in 2010, “If they are not gonna make a distinction between muslims and extremists, then why should I distinguish between white people and racists” [sic].
- Forbes reports how Agrawal told MIT Technology Review in 2020 that Twitter isn’t “bound by the First Amendment.”
- Forbes also notes how Jason Miller—CEO of conservative social media platform GETTR—tweeted Monday that Agrawal may be a bigger threat to free speech than Dorsey.
Twitter’s board has unanimously approved Parag Agrawal, the company’s current chief technical officer, as the new CEO. Agrawal’s main project at Twitter has been Bluesky, an initiative designed to create “an open and decentralized standard for social media that would help better control abusive and misleading information on its platform.” In an interview a year ago, Agrawal commented that he thought Twitter should “focus less on thinking about free speech.”
“Our 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,” he said. “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 is correct, of course, that Twitter is not bound by the First Amendment; as a private company, it can make whatever moderation decisions it wants. But under Dorsey’s leadership, Twitter has been a place for wide-ranging conversation on topics of political importance, despite some undeniably questionable moderation decisions. Dorsey has resisted pressure from both Democratic and Republican lawmakers to bring the company more in line with their views. Whether Agrawal will do the same remains to be seen.