On Friday, Elon Musk announced that he’s stepping back as CEO of Twitter, and will soon be replaced by Linda Yaccarino, NBCUniversal’s former head of advertising. It’s a sensible choice for the platform. Advertisers fled Twitter during Musk’s tenure amidst skyrocketing hate speech and other objectionable content, and the company desperately needs big brands to come back if it’s going to make any money. There’s just one problem, at least if you’re a nut job: Yaccarino also has a gig at the World Economic Forum.
The WEF is an independent lobbying group that helps giant corporations and countries come together to make even more money on an international stage. If you’re fortunate enough to avoid the dumbest parts of the internet, you might be blissfully unaware that the WEF is also a focal point for conspiracy theorists. That’s especially true of the WEF’s annual Davos meeting, where many of the world’s richest and most powerful people gather to talk about make decisions about how they’re going to run the world. To be clear—the conspiracy theories about the WEF have little, if any, grounding in reality.
Over the past couple of years, Elon’s spent a lot of time virtue signaling to the conservatives and right-wingers, and he’s attracted a large following of a certain kind of person who does not like so-called globalists. As CEO of Twitter, Musk did away with a lot of persnickety rules about vaccine misinformation and hate speech, which was thrilling for all the people who love that kind of stuff.
Yaccarino’s ties to the WEF, not to mention the fact that’s she on the record supporting Diversity Equity and Inclusion initiatives, make her unpopular in a lot of the circles where Elon is a savior. For many of the billionaire’s bozo fans, handing Yaccarino the keys to Twitter feels like a betrayal.
These freshly christened Yaccarino haters may be wrong about conspiracies, vaccine mandates, and racism, but they’re probably right that’s she’s going to do things they won’t like. Here’s a sad truth for the free speech eightdollarati: most big companies don’t like running their ads alongside virulent racism and dangerous misinformation. It’s not because they’re “woke,” it’s because they’re businesses, and most people don’t like that stuff either. Toxicity and hatred does not make people want to buy things. Sorry, weirdos. Musk has made a lot of changes that scared advertisers away. If she has any business sense, Yaccarino will try to undo them.
Strap in kids, because watching Twitter circle the drain is going to be just as crazy as ever under the company’s new chief. Gizmodo collected some of the most unhinged responses to Yaccarino’s arrival. Click through the slideshow above to see the glittering examples.