FRONTLINE traces Elon Musk’s long and often troubled relationship with Twitter, following his journey from being one of the platform’s most provocative users to becoming its owner.
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Elon Musk completed his acquisition of the social media company formerly called Twitter nearly a year ago. At a time of intense polarization in the U.S. and worldwide, the move placed the richest man in the world in charge of one of the world’s most important platforms for news and political debate — and also put Musk squarely at the center of an ongoing debate about the limits of free speech and the spread of lies online.
This two-hour documentary from the team behind “Amazon Empire” and “The Facebook Dilemma” pulls back the curtain on the influential social media platform’s inner workings both before and after Musk’s takeover. In extraordinary, in-depth interviews, former Twitter employees give remarkable first-person accounts of how controversial content moderation decisions were made in the pre-Musk era, including the banning of former President Donald Trump after Jan. 6, 2021.
Former Twitter employees also give first-person accounts of the changes Musk made inside Twitter after buying the company, shedding new light on questions about free speech, hate speech and safety that have intensified during his tenure at the helm of the platform. “Elon Musk’s Twitter Takeover” probes the profound impact Musk’s decisions have had on politics, speech and culture.
“Elon Musk’s Twitter Takeover” is a FRONTLINE production with Left/Right Docs. The director and correspondent is James Jacoby. The writers and producers are Anya Bourg and James Jacoby. The co-producers are Christina Avalos and Chris O’Coin. The senior producers are Dan Edge and Frank Koughan. The editor-in-chief and executive producer of FRONTLINE is Raney Aronson-Rath.
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FRONTLINE is produced at GBH in Boston and is broadcast nationwide on PBS. Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional funding is provided by the Abrams Foundation; Park Foundation; the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; and the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund with major support from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation, and additional support from Koo and Patricia Yuen.