Elon Musk’s Kanye West fiasco highlights the content moderation dangers Twitter now faces

Fast Company
December 02, 2022

The train wreck that is Twitter under Elon Musk continues to see more dysfunction seemingly every day. In the past 24 hours, Musk has put controversial anti-Semite Kanye West into temporary Twitter jail for tweeting an image of a swastika inside a Star of David—something West did hours after praising Hitler during an interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

Now, Musk has to face up to new data published by a collection of organizations tracking hate speech on digital platforms including the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) that shows the increase in hate speech on Twitter has never been worse.

“Elon Musk has again been exposed as misleading users and advertisers, claiming ‘mission accomplished’ despite his clear failure to meet his own self-proclaimed standards to clamp down on vicious bigotry,” says Imran Ahmed, CEO of the CCDH...

“It’s pretty clear we’re seeing in real time that Elon Musk is learning the lessons that those in the trust and safety field have been well aware of for the last decade-plus,” says Rebekah Tromble, director of the Institute for Data, Democracy & Politics at George Washington University. “It’s simply not the case that you can open things up on a platform and declare it’s free speech and not have any real-world consequences.”

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