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Twitter lawyer who censored Biden Laptop story cries during Musk takeover meeting

Gadde holds one of the most controversial positions at Twitter: Her teams decide how to moderate content. That’s made her a target of right-wing criticism, particularly when Twitter blocked the distribution of a New York Post article about President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, in 2020. She faced a renewed wave of criticism after multiple reports confirmed she was behind the decision to ban Trump from Twitter.

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Monday was an emotional day at Twitter — even for its executives.

Shortly after billionaire Elon Musk bought the powerful social media platform, top Twitter lawyer Vijaya Gadde called a virtual meeting with the policy and legal teams she oversees to discuss what the new ownership could mean for them.

Gadde cried during the meeting as she expressed concerns about how the company could change, according to three people familiar with the meeting. She acknowledged that there are significant uncertainties about what the company will look like under Musk’s leadership.

Twitter spokesperson Trenton Kennedy said Gadde became emotional when discussing her team’s impact and the pride she feels in them.

Sources confirmed that she spoke at length about how she is proud of the work her team has done and offered employees encouragement, urging them to keep striving to do good work at the company.

Gadde, who has worked at Twitter since 2011, is the key executive charged with overseeing Twitter’s trust and safety, legal and public policy functions. She is seen internally as Twitter’s “moral authority” and the executive tasked with handling sensitive issues like harassment and dangerous speech.

She has shepherded Twitter through some of its most contentious political battles, including the decisions to remove all political advertising and to boot former President Donald Trump from the platform in the wake of the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill — a position that has earned her devoted fans within Twitter, as well as a large contingent of right-wing critics.

But as news of Musk’s official takeover broke, policy and legal employees fretted at the meeting about what his leadership could mean for Twitter’s carefully crafted online speech rules, including its policies against hate speech, misinformation and even political advertising.

“I think everyone at Twitter, regardless of how they feel about the news, is feeling reflective and emotional,” said one Twitter employee. “We’ve gone through a lot in the past two years and I think it’s generally instigated a lot of reflection. I think this was more of an acknowledgment of the uncertainty everyone is feeling right now.”

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