No one wants to explain away the whims of a megalomaniac, and Linda Yaccarino has been having such a rough go of it. The X/Twitter CEO has reportedly dropped out of the Wall Street Journal’s upcoming Tech Live conference following a widely criticized interview less than two weeks ago.
During an interview at Vox Media’s Code Conference in California on September 27, Yaccarino was tasked with the impossible: Defending Elon Musk and making X sound like a thriving company. The former NBC executive turned X CEO spent the majority of the nearly 40-minute-long Q&A half-heartedly paving over an earlier surprise appearance by Twitter’s former Head of Trust and Safety Yoel Roth with some talking points about how the old Twitter can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh, because it’s dead. Now, it would appear that Yaccarino is retreating to the safety of silence by canceling a previously announced appearance at the Wall Street Journal’s Tech Live conference
“Linda Yaccarino will be unable to attend the WSJ Tech Live conference next week,” X told the Journal, as tweeted by the outlet’s Senior Personal Technology Columnist Joanna Stern. “With the global crisis unfolding, Linda and her team must remain fully focused on X platform safety.”
The “global crisis” is clearly a reference to the ongoing conflict in Israel and Palestine, but if Yaccarino is so interested in keeping the platform safe then the call is coming from inside the house. As The Washington Post reports, Musk tweeted out a directive to those interested in following updates on the war by promoting two accounts with a history of spreading misinformation. According to the outlet, Musk’s post was seen 11 million times in three hours before he deleted it.
Overall, Yaccarino has had a lot of explaining to do. Musk officially took over the Twitter/X platform in October last year, and since then it’s been on a downhill trajectory, with Musk seemingly having a vendetta against news publishers specifically. Most recently, X decapitated headlines on the platform, trusting users to manually enter accurate information into tweets themselves. X has also ranked at the bottom of Climate Action Against Disinformation’s list of social media platforms peddling climate misinformation. There’s also no longer power for the people, as X disabled the mechanism allowing users to report inaccurate content.