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Twitter says Elon Musk won’t get special treatment from its rules, even as a board member

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Musk will be subject to the same rules as everyone else

The Twitter bird logo in white against a dark background with outlined logos around it and red circles rippling out from it. Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Twitter says it won’t give Tesla CEO Elon Musk special treatment on the platform after earning a seat on the company’s board of directors. In a statement to The Verge, Twitter spokesperson Adrian Zamora said the platform is “committed to impartiality in the development and enforcement of its policies and rules,” implying that Musk will be subject to the same Twitter rules as everyone else. In other words, Twitter could likely still ban or suspend Musk, if need be.

In regards to Musk’s potential influence on the platform, Zamora said board members aren’t able to make decisions about Twitter’s policies, but they still do play a large part when it comes to providing guidance and feedback.

“Our policy decisions are not determined by the Board or shareholders,” Zamora explained. “As always our Board plays an important advisory and feedback role across the entirety of our service. Our day to day operations and decisions are made by Twitter management and employees.”

Of course, Musk will in fact have direct say over some major aspects of Twitter. Board members have to approve mergers and oversee how the business is performing. That may not be “day to day” decision-making, but it can still have a big sway over the company.

After Musk disclosed his purchase of a 9.2 percent stake in Twitter this week, the platform’s CEO Parag Agrawal confirmed Musk would serve as a class II director on the company’s board until 2024. Now that Musk is the largest individual Twitter shareholder, this has left many users wondering what sort of impact Musk may have on decisions down the road — especially since Musk has been largely critical of the platform. In March, he held a poll to ask followers if they think Twitter “rigorously adheres” to the principle of free speech. And on Monday, Musk polled Twitter followers on whether they think Twitter should have an “edit” button.