A senior engineer at Twitter has admitted the social media platform has a strong left-wing bias and censors conservative views on a routine basis.
Siru Murugesan was secretly recorded by a Project Veritas journalist saying the company culture is extremely far left, and went as far as to describe Twitter employees as “commie as f**k” who “hate, hate, hate” the prospect of Elon Musk’s $44 billion takeover.
During the shocking conversation, which was filmed over several encounters, the senior employee told the female journalist that Twitter “does not believe in free speech” and said working for the company began to turn him left-wing after he joined.
The frank comments were broadcast to the world as Twitter staff fear they will be axed from the company following the Musk takeover, or be prevented from censoring certain content when the Tesla titan takes over as owner of the platform. Musk, 50, has said he wants to make the social media company “an inclusive arena for free speech” and says he believes that people must be allowed to “speak freely within the bounds of the law”.
In March, Musk described himself as a “free speech absolutist” and expanded on this, adding, “By free speech, I simply mean that which matches the law. I am against censorship that goes far beyond the law. If people want less free speech, they will ask government to pass laws to that effect. Therefore, going beyond the law is contrary to the will of the people”.
Although the news of Musk’s takeover is bad news for his opponents, he recently said he hoped that even his “worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means”. He also also vowed to “defeat the spam bots” and “authenticate all humans”.
Musk this week said his deal to buy Twitter can’t “move forward” unless the company shows public proof that less than 5% of the accounts on the platform are fake or spam. During sales negotiations, Musk estimated that 20-40% of Twitter accounts were bots, saying the 20% prediction was at “the low end” of his estimations.
"If Twitter has been vociferously less than 5% fake/spam accounts, but, in fact it is 4-5x that number. It's big deal. It's like, I agree to buy your house, you say the house has less than 5% termites but if it turns out it's 90% termites. It's not the same house" — @elonmusk pic.twitter.com/fbLMXkHeTf
— Pranay Pathole (@PPathole) May 18, 2022
“Twitter does not believe in free speech…Elon believes in free speech,” Murgugesan told the journalist, adding that his co-workers ‘hated’ Musk’s $44 billion bid to take control of the company.
“They hate it,’ he said. “Oh my God. I’m at least like okay with it. But some of my colleagues are like super left, left, left, left, left,” he said.
When asked what his co-workers thought of Musk’s buyout, the engineer replied: “They’re like, ‘this would be my last day if this happens’.”
He also admitted that Twitter’s office politics are so left-leaning that they ended up shaping his own views and changing his perspective. “Like, I started working at Twitter and became left,” he said. “I think it’s just like the environment, like you’re there and you become like this commie”.
Murugesan said that right-wingers were openly censored by the company, adding that he could see the hypocrisy in the approach.
“Ideologically, it does not make sense, like, because we’re actually censoring the right, and not the left,” he told the undercover reporter.
“So, everyone on the right wing will be like, ‘bro, it’s okay to stay, just gotta tolerate it.’ The left will be like, no, I’m not gonna tolerate it. I need it censored or else I’m not gonna be on the platform.
“So, it does that on the right. It’s true. There is bias. It is what it is today,” he said.
BREAKING: Twitter Senior Engineer says “Twitter Does Not Believe in Free Speech”, admits employees are “Commie as F**k”and they tried to “revolt against” @ElonMusk’s takeover bid.#TwitterExposed pic.twitter.com/PjFWhzicBZ
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) May 16, 2022
Musk himself has repeatedly highlighted a left-wing bias on Twitter, pointing out that conservative figures like former president Donald Trump and former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon are banned, while extreme left-wing figures are allowed to keep sharing their views on the platform.
Murugesan confirmed that there has already been a shakeup at the company – as he told the reporter how “a lot has changed” since Musk began the takeover process on 25th April.
He said employees were worried about their jobs, because Musk’s companies run differently to Twitter’s “socialist”workplace, describing Musk as a capitalist.
“You know, our jobs are at stake,’ he said. ‘He’s a capitalist and we weren’t really operating as capitalists, more like very socialist. Like we’re all commie as f***.”
Murugesan also said the company’s operating procedures were extremely slack, stating: “Essentially like everyone gets to do whatever they want, no one really cares about like [operating expenses], like capitalists, they care about numbers or care about how to make the business more efficient”.
“But in Twitter, it’s like mental health is everything, like if you are not feeling it, you can take a few days off. People have taken months off, they will come back.
“But you always like, like do your best at any time. And that’s the culture and you know we’ll run the business as much as possible. But at the same time, you know, like the profits weren’t a lot,” he told the undercover journalist.
He also said that many staffers had openly attempted to obstruct the takeover bid, concerned in particular about Musk’s promise to allow people like Donald Trump back on the platform.
Project Veritas says that Twitter is yet to respond to a request for comment on the footage.
In part two of the story on Tuesday night, Project Veritas published separate undercover footage of Twitter Lead Client Partner Alex Martinez discussing the company’s ideology, slamming the acquisition of the company by Elon Musk and at times openly denigrating Musk for his expressed views on free speech.
On free speech, Martinez said: “The rest of us who have been here believe in something that’s good for the planet and not to give people free speech”.
On the issue of censorship, he said: “People don’t know how to make a rational decision If you don’t put out – correct things that are supposed to be out in the public, right?”
BREAKING: @Twitter Lead Client Partner Says Woke “Ideology” Responsible For Company’s Inability to “Profit”; Affirms Twitter Not Here “To Give People Free Speech”; Refuses Taking @ElonMusk “Seriously” Due to “Asperger’s” Making Him “Special”#TwitterExposed pic.twitter.com/dQZamaLiC8
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) May 17, 2022
Martinez, who sometimes speaks for the company at public events, even made offensive comments about Musk having Asperger’s.
“He has Asperger’s,” Martinez says at one point adding, “so, he’s special.” Going further, Martinez later said, “We all know that and that’s fine. So here, no one’s going to say some f**king crazy sh*t because he’s special”.
Project Veritas’s release of the bombshell investigation online caught the attention of Musk himself. In response to the Twitter engineer’s comments, Musk responded on Twitter to Turning Point USA’s Benny Johnson, writing: “Is this legit?”
Is this legit?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 17, 2022
Musk also responded to the video featuring the comment about Musk having Asperger’s, simply tweeting a sad face emoji. He later blasted the Twitter executive for “trashing free speech & mocking people with Asperger’s”.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 18, 2022
Twitter exec trashing free speech & mocking people with Asperger’s …
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 18, 2022
Project Veritas itself and its CEO, James O’Keefe, are themselves banned from the platform – something that conservative commentators have highlighted, while calling on Musk to reinstate their accounts, stating that doing so would increase transparency on the platform.
While supporters of the takeover and Musk’s bid for what has been perceived by many as a fairer platform say it is an important move for free speech, opponents of the takeover have claimed it will lead to an increase in online ‘hate speech’.
The undercover sting comes as Musk said he will switch from voting Democrat to Republican for the first time. The billionaire tech founder likened president Joe Biden to Anchorman’s Ron Burgundy — who loses his job as a newsreader because he lacks the ability to improvise — during the All-in tech conference in Miami on Monday. He said he believes the democrats have become the “party of division and hate”.
In the past I voted Democrat, because they were (mostly) the kindness party.
But they have become the party of division & hate, so I can no longer support them and will vote Republican.
Now, watch their dirty tricks campaign against me unfold … 🍿
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 18, 2022