Elon Musk has announced that he plans to form a “content moderation committee with diverse views” at Twitter in his first policy action after taking over the social media company on Friday. , highlighting that so far there have been no changes to the platform’s moderation policies. .
“No major content decisions or account recovery will happen before that panel convenes,” the outspoken billionaire businessman said amid concerns that the former US president’s account Donald Trump can be reinstated.
“Just to be clear, we have yet to make any changes to Twitter’s content moderation policies,” he added in a later tweet.
Official Twitter become Musk’s private propertyThe CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, on Friday, steered the platform down an uncertain path under the stewardship of one of its most vocal critics.
Criticism quickly shifted to how the platform would operate under a self-proclaimed autocracy of speech, who some users fear would turn Twitter into a global stage for hate speech and wrong information.
Just to be clear, we haven’t made any changes to Twitter’s content moderation policies yet https://t.co/k4guTsXOIu
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 29, 2022
Musk’s sealing of this repeated $44 billion contract ended a months-long play of corporate secrecy, involving insults, threats and lawsuits.
“The bird is free,” said the billionaire Tesla founder and space pioneer, referring to the company’s logo. “Let the time goes by so mean.”
The deal has drawn mixed reactions, with former US president Donald Trump cheering a leadership change on a platform that has banned him, while activists warn of an increase in harassment and disinformation. false news.
European politicians were quick to signal to Musk that the continent had regulation for social media companies.
“In Europe the bird will fly by our rules,” tweeted Thierry Breton, EU internal market commissioner.
– Thierry Breton (@ThierryBreton) October 28, 2022
Musk has promised to return to content moderation and is expected to clear the way for Trump to return to the platform.
The then-president was blocked over fears he would incite more violence like the deadly 2021 attack on the US Capitol to reverse his election defeat.
Reaching his own Truth Social social platform, Trump said he was “glad that Twitter is now in healthy hands” – but did do not commit to rejoin if allowed.
Far-right users were quick to rejoice at Musk’s ownership, posting comments such as “masks don’t work” and other taunts, in the belief that censorship rules would now be relaxed. liquid.
‘A huge responsibility’
Yale University philosophy professor Jason Stanley, who has described Trump’s rise as a sign of the rise of fascism in the United States, said he would change his approach to posting .
“I’m on Twitter right now. But I will try to be much more careful about what I say now that Elon Musk is in charge. He said:
Right-wing political commentator Ben Shapiro said he had gained 40,000 followers on Twitter on Friday, while actor Mark Hamill, a libertarian, said he had lost nearly 6,000 followers. for the past three days.
Musk is said to have fired Twitter chief executive Parag Agrawal and other senior officials — though the company did not respond to requests for comment and Agrawal still lists himself as CEO on his Twitter profile.
But Ned Segal, Twitter’s chief financial officer since 2017, has announced his departure.
“At its best, (Twitter) democratizes communication and knowledge, ensuring accountability and equal distribution of information,” said Segal. “It is a huge responsibility for everyone involved in the work. I wish them strength, wisdom and foresight.”
Musk, who is using a combination of his own money, money from wealthy investors and bank loans to finance the deal, has admitted he is paying too much for a company that regularly loses money. .
How to make money?
Twitter says it has 238 million daily users – compared to Facebook’s nearly two billion likes – and can’t monetize in the same way as its rivals.
However, it has a great influence on public debate as it is the preferred platform for many companies, politicians, journalists and other public figures.
Although he has promised that Twitter will not become a “free place for everyone,” Musk is said to have planned deep staff cuts to gut the teams that monitor content.
Despite Musk posting a letter to advertisers saying he wants Twitter to be a forum where rival views can be “sanely” debated, US auto giant General Motors said on Friday that it had “paused” paid ads on the platform.
“We are working with Twitter to understand the direction of their new owned platform,” said a GM spokesperson.
Media watchdog Media Matters for America has been sounding the alarm about the future of Musk-led Twitter, particularly its influence on the impending midterm elections in the US.
The platform is “currently on a fast track to becoming a supercharged engine of radicalization” and is a “swamp fever of dangerous conspiracy theories, partisan occultism and behavior.” acts of harassment,” said the organization’s head Angelo Carusone.