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Elon Musk addresses layoffs, remote work and ‘free speech’ during his first meeting with Twitter employees

By Clare Duffy and Donie O’Sullivan, CNN Business

Elon Musk on Thursday doubled down on his desire to relax content restrictions on Twitter.

In his first-ever town hall with Twitter employees, Musk faced a series of questions about his stance on content moderation, and he expanded on his vision for allowing “free speech” on the platform. Musk reiterated his desire to allow all legal speech on Twitter, even when that includes so-called “lawful but awful” content such as extremism or abuse.

“I think it’s essential to have free speech and for people to be able to communicate freely,” Musk said.

However, Musk said that the platform should work to prevent potentially harmful or offensive content from getting amplified, so that users will be “comfortable on Twitter.”

“There’s freedom of speech and freedom of reach,” he said. “Anyone could just go into the middle of Times Square right now and say anything they want. They can just walk into the middle of Times Square and deny the Holocaust … but that doesn’t mean that needs to be promoted to millions of people. So I think people should be allowed to say pretty outrageous things that are in the bounds of the law but that don’t get amplified and don’t get a ton of reach.”

Thursday marked the first time that Musk spoke directly to Twitter employees after he agreed in April to purchase the social media company for $44 billion. Many employees have expressed concerns both publicly and privately about everything from Musk’s approach to content moderation to his stance on remote work, topics that the Tesla CEO addressed during the more than 30-minute virtual all-hands meeting, according to a recording obtained by CNN Business.

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