X / Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino has just canceled her appearance at the Wall Street Journal’s Tech Live conference next week, saying “with the global crisis unfolding, Linda and her team must remain fully focused on X platform safety.”
Here’s the statement X sent to The Journal: “Linda Yaccarino will be unable to attend the WSJ Tech Live conference next week. With the global crisis unfolding, Linda and her team must remain fully focused on X…
— Joanna Stern (@JoannaStern) October 9, 2023
The “global crisis” in question is almost certainly a reference to the war in Israel, which resulted in a flood of horrific videos being posted to X. Then there is the issue of one Elon Musk, X’s owner, who yesterday posted “For following the war in real-time, @WarMonitors & @sentdefender are good.” @warmonitors has posted obviously anti-Semitic tweets in the past; Musk later deleted the tweet. The Washington Post reports that both accounts “were among the most important early spreaders of a false claim in May that there had been an explosion near the White House.”
Many of the employees who focused on content moderation (known in the industry as “trust and safety”) lost their jobs last year, CNN reports. Recently, the artist formerly known as Twitter removed headlines from link cards, instead showing only the lead image of the article. The removal was Musk’s idea.
Yaccarino’s exit from the WSJ conference follows her chaotic, tense appearance at our own Code Conference, in which she deflected most questions — especially those relating to comments made previously at the conference by former X trust and safety head Yoel Roth.
Last week, Yaccarino told lenders that revenue grew “in the high-single digit percentage during the third quarter compared to the second quarter,” according to Reuters, which cited an anonymous source. Yaccarino also told the banks that X / Twitter was considering subscription tiers that would vary the number of ads shown to users.
Yaccarino previously said at the Code Conference that 90 percent of advertisers are back on the platform, although they appear to be spending less than before, Bloomberg reported, also citing an anonymous source.