Users “test” free speech on Twitter
consequences Washington PostHours after Elon Musk took over Twitter, many people simultaneously posted banned or restricted content. This was seen as an attempt to “test” the American billionaire’s claim that the platform was a place for “free speech”.
“Now Elon is in control of Twitter. Feel free to say racist words,” one Twitter account wrote. An account created a few days ago shared Musk’s tweets with images and implied vocabulary. The tweet, which contained only one obscene word, appeared four hours ago. After Musk became Twitter boss, he received more than 700 retweets and more than 5,000 likes, the message has not been deleted to date.
According to the Network Contagious Research Organization (NCRI), Twitter yesterday saw a spike in offensive, racist, and politically incorrect content that supports terrorism. … Posts surged more than 500% just 12 hours after Musk took over Twitter.
“A lot of evidence suggests that evil people are trying to defy Twitter’s restrictions,” said an NCRI spokesman. “Even some posts on forums like 4chan encourage people to use Twitter to post offensive and offensive messages.”
A Twitter spokesman could not be reached for comment.
After taking over Twitter on Oct. 28, Musk immediately fired four top officials from the platform, including CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, head of legal and policy Vijay Gadde, and advisor Sean Edgett. They are all important figures in controlling and stabilizing the platform lately, especially Gadde who formulated and changed many policies to protect the platform from fake content, fake news, slurs, racism and political issues.
“The rise in hate speech has raised concerns that Twitter’s decades-long effort to clean up the platform could be reversed under Musk. That risk became even more real after Gadde’s departure,” commented New York University expert Paul Barrett. “Musk’s firing will bring more skepticism to Twitter given his notoriously erratic and grumpy personality.”
When he announced his acquisition of Twitter earlier this year, Musk once said he would ensure “free speech” on the platform. Many are waiting to see if former US President Donald Trump, who made false claims on social media and was permanently banned, has his account restored.
“The danger here lies in the name of ‘free speech’. Musk could turn back time and leave Twitter full of hate, division, and misinformation about elections, public health policies, public health, and international affairs. It’s concerning,” Barrett said.
Musk also confirmed yesterday that he will not reinstate suspended accounts or make major changes to the platform’s content policies until a “Multi-Opinion Content Moderation Committee” is formed.
This model, if it appears, will be similar to Meta. Mark Zuckerberg’s company also set up a Review Board, an independent body to rule on Facebook’s social media censorship measures after years of public criticism for poor decisions.