How's this for interesting timing?
Just days after Elon Musk - a self-described "free speech absolutist" - unveiled a 9.2% stake in Twitter and was rewarded with a seat on the company's board, eliciting cheers from Republicans and conservatives who have long seen their speech suppressed on the platform, the NYT's executive editor has reportedly ordered the paper's army of reporters (many of whom are among the platform's most closely followed journalists) to reduce the amount of time they spend tweeting.
The order from the NYT comes as Musk has promised to make 'significant improvements' to the platform. He had previously opined that the Twitter algorithm should be open source. Conservatives have also used the platform to lobby Musk to reinstate Trump's twitter account.
Citing an internal memo, Business Insider reports that NYT Executive Editor Dean Baquet on Thursday ordered his staff to consider a Twitter "reset", and that using the platform is now "purely optional" for its journalists.
"If you do choose to stay on, we encourage you to meaningfully reduce how much time you're spending on the platform, tweeting or scrolling, in relation to other parts of your job," he wrote.
He also claimed the NYT would step up efforts to support reporters who find themselves on the receiving end of "harassment" on the platform (following the viral interview with former NYT staffer Taylor Lorenz, who wept during an interview with MSNBC while describing the targeted harassment she has experienced on social media).
"This is an industry-wide scourge, but we are determined to take action," he wrote.
Baquet also demanded that reporters and all NYT employees refrain from attacking one another on the platform.
Baquet also said that "tweets or subtweets that attack, criticize or undermine the work of your colleagues are not allowed."
We can't help but notice how this last requirement follows an incident at rival the Washington Post, where reporter Felicia Sonmez publicly attacked her editors for barring her from covering issues related to sexual assault (a lawsuit she filed against the paper was later thrown out by a judge).
But left-wing journalists aren't the only ones who are clearly anxious about Musk's plans for Twitter. Several Twitter employees have anonymously complained to media outlets about their 'concerns' that Musk might roll back policies governing 'harmful' and 'abusive' content on the platform.