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(JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images, BNN Edit)   Elon Musk has dissolved Twitter’s Board of Directors and named himself as the sole director of the company, in a widely expected move following his $44 billion takeover of the social media platform last week.

The ousted members include former CEO Parag Agrawal, the co-CEO of salesforce and chairman of the board Bret Taylor, and the British co-founder of LastMinute.com, Baroness Martha Lane-Fox.

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

(Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images, BNN Edit)

In addition to becoming the sole director, Musk will temporarily serve as chief executive, cementing his control over the influential social media platform, which gained a reputation for leftism and out-of-control censorship over the past half decade.

Musk, who calls himself a free speech absolutist, has proposed a radical new direction for the company. In recent days, the SpaceX and Tesla CEO has talked of reforming content moderation on the platform to resemble movie ratings, with users able to choose the level of content filtering they wish to experience.

Saying he wished the platform to remain “warm and welcoming,” Musk said he users to be able to “choose your desired experiences according to your preferences,” comparing it to adult content filters for TV and movies.

“You can choose, for example, to see movies or play video games ranging from all ages to mature.”

While user-led content moderation, in the form of block buttons and family-friendly options like Twitter’s existing “sensitive content” filter and Google’s “safe search” feature used to be the norm, Big Tech platforms shifted towards a model of top-down, mandatory censorship imposed on all users in the years following Donald Trump’s election victory in 2016.

That users of social media platforms should not be allowed to view “misinformation,” “extremism,” or “hate speech,” even if they choose to, has been one of the iron commitments of the political and media establishment during the populist era, as elites struggled to defend their political power and control over information in the face of increasingly successful political outsiders.

However, that commitment was never quite so ironclad in Silicon Valley, which often had to be pressured by media-instigated advertiser boycotts, as well as pressure from politicians, governments, and activist groups before stricter content moderation was imposed.

Under Musk, at least one social media platform seems to have the potential to break free of the establishment’s carefully constructed content moderation consensus — a consensus that may have been more fragile than it seemed.

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