Meet the new Twitter boss, same as the old Twitter boss

Elon Musk is stepping down as CEO, but his replacement's social media activity suggests it'll be business as usual

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Elon Musk's controversial reign at Twitter is coming to an end: the CEO is stepping down and has announced Linda Yaccarino as his replacement. And impressively, the announcement has managed to disappoint pretty much everybody.

First up, there's the Twitter Blue guys. They're deeply unhappy that Yaccarino has previously worked with the World Economic Forum, an organisation many conspiracy theorists believe is responsible for all kinds of sinister shenanigans, and that she is also a believer in Covid vaccines and wearing masks. So many of them are throwing very public strops.

But it's not just the blue ticks who are disappointed. It looks like Yaccarino's appointment means business as usual for marginalised people on the platform. 

What difference will the new Twitter CEO make?

We won't know for a while, because Yaccarino won't take up the new job for another six weeks or so – so that's at least another six weeks of Twitter continuing to trash its brand. Some cynics believe that she's there to take the fall on Elon Musk's behalf: with advertisers fleeing and increasingly serious problems with content moderation – for example, the removal of trust and safety features and people seems to have caused a very serious problem around posts featuring extreme violence to people and animals – Twitter is not in great shape. 

For some Twitter watchers, that means Yaccarino's appointment is a "glass cliff" hire: she's being set up as a scapegoat to take the blame when Twitter finally runs out of gas.

I don't think it's that cynical, but I'm not sure Yaccarino will do anything that Elon Musk isn't already doing. She follows very far-right accounts including Libs of TikTok, the viciously anti-LGBT+ account claimed as an inspiration by last week's Texas mall shooter, and her likes includes posts pushing right-wing conspiracy theories. As the National Review puts it: "Elon Musk Is the Only One Happy About New Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino."

Amid all this drama it's easy to forget that there's still an app. Part of Yaccarino's role will be to oversee some very big changes with Musk as her chief technical officer: Musk has announced that Twitter will give you the ability to make voice and video calls to other users, and has even expressed interest in turning Twitter into a dating site. It's all part of his goal to make Twitter the "everything app", a kind of electronic equivalent of the ring in the Lord of the Rings. 

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (