Elon Musk brings new managers against hate speech at X

As of: April 3, 2024 10:21 a.m

Elon Musk has found new managers for his Twitter successor X who are supposed to ensure more security for users and companies on the platform. Hate speech is increasingly becoming a business problem for X.

Two new managers are supposed to make the online platform X safer for users and companies. Kylie McRoberts will tackle the problem of hate speech and other extremist content as Head of Safety, Elon Musk’s Twitter successor announced yesterday. In addition, advertising expert Yale Cohen is supposed to make the service more attractive for companies.

Large corporations turn their backs on X

With the new hires, Elon Musk is tackling a central problem of the social network he took over in 2022: hate speech. To avoid a negative environment for their brands, advertisers rely on X to consistently keep hate speech off the platform. But those responsible at X haven’t done this particularly well in the past.

Advertisements from large, well-known corporations repeatedly appeared alongside posts with calls for violence or anti-Semitic slogans, as the organization Media Matters clearly demonstrated last year. Some companies, such as computer giant IBM, immediately stopped all advertising on X. IBM does not tolerate hate speech and is investigating the “absolutely unacceptable situation,” an IBM spokesman said in November.

Advertising revenue halved since Musk took over Twitter

Musk is committed to radical freedom of speech at X – all statements that do not violate the law should be permitted. The tech billionaire accused the former Twitter leadership of suppressing the political views of the American right.

As one of his first official acts after taking over in fall 2022, Musk fired the very Twitter managers and teams that were responsible for deleting hate speech on the online platform. The logical consequence: Since Musk took charge of Twitter, advertising revenue has halved.

Musk himself criticized for anti-Semitism

The X owner himself caused a scandal last November when he commented on a post with an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory as “actual truth”. The article he endorsed said, among other things, that “hatred against whites” was being spread by the Jews.

The White House then accused the Tesla boss of spreading anti-Semitism. It said in a statement that this was unacceptable and: “We condemn in the strongest terms this abhorrent promotion of anti-Semitic and racist hatred.”

EU takes action against hate speech at X

Meanwhile, Musk has not made any friends in the EU with what many observers believe to be his lax approach to hate speech. In December, Brussels opened proceedings against X under the Digital Services Act (DSA). The accusation: “dissemination of illegal content” such as hate speech, hate speech and misinformation.

According to the authority, it will investigate whether X has violated EU rules on risk management and content moderation, advertising transparency and data access for researchers. The EU Commission had previously made an official request to the social network after numerous indications of illegal and misleading posts about the war in the Middle East, but did not receive any satisfactory answers.

With information from Angela Göpfert, ARD financial editorial team.

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