With Elon Musk’s decision to do away with Twitter’s external Trust & Safety Advisory Council, he is continuing Twitter’s disinformation and hate speech downward spiral and showing his hundreds of millions of customers that he simply doesn’t care.
Disbanding the Council will greatly exacerbate the harmful consequences Musk has already caused by dismissing large swaths of content moderation teams around the world. And Musk still refuses to address the consequences for Twitter users in languages other than English, which are especially dire. Since Twitter’s inception, regions outside the U.S. have suffered from a lack of safety, and Musk’s decisions, including the one to disband the external Trust & Safety Advisory Council, is making a terrible situation worse. Any semblance of Twitter’s safety and integrity is disintegrating before our eyes.
We are facing an intensification of global threats to democracies around the world and ongoing violence driven from online platforms. With roughly 450 million monthly active users, this situation will become even more perilous with Musk’s latest cavalier decision. There is no longer hope that Musk will be a strong and effective leader of one of the most powerful online platforms in the world.
A letter sent earlier this month from the Global Alliance Against Digital Hate and Extremism, a coalition of which the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism is a steering committee member, asked Musk to:
- End exemptions from content moderation for the politically powerful and influencers globally.
- Clarify and improve Twitter’s “Violent Organizations” and “Hateful Conduct” policies and ensure they are enforced, with the input of civil society and experts, not only in the U.S. and Europe, but in the Global South.
- Expand and ensure proportionate resources for content moderation in all languages and cultural competency for all regions where Twitter operates.
- Fix and design algorithms to end the amplification of disinformation, hate and extremism in all languages and regions where Twitter operates.