When Elon Musk took over Twitter, Renamed, his favorite letter of the alphabet, and he began a mad firing. Chief among those expelled are people committed to trust and safety, who work to keep inappropriate content from hate speech to child exploitation off the platform.
Today before a U.S. Senate committee, X CEO Linda Yaccarino There seems to be a tacit admission that Musk has gone too far in removing platform guardrails, suggesting that the company is partially reversing course.She said X had increased the number of trust and safety staff by 10% in the past 14 months and planned to hire 100 new moderators Austin’s focus is child sexual exploitation.
Yacarino spoke at a conference senate hearing Join the CEOs of Meta, TikTok, Snap and Discord as they discuss the failure of social networks to curb child sexual abuse. She also stated many times that “less than 1%” of X users are under 18 years old. That claim — and her assertion that the company is now hiring new administrators after 14 months of Musk’s ownership and deep cuts to trust and safety — has raised eyebrows among social platform experts and former Twitter employees. .
Theodora Skeadas, a former member of Twitter’s trust and safety team who was fired by Musk in November 2022, said that even after hiring the employees Yacarino touted, There is still a serious shortage of manpower. Removals did improve, 100 wasn’t enough,” Skeadas said. “That seems unlikely since they laid off so many engineers. “
Soon after Acquisition of Twitter in October 2022Afterwards, Musk laid off nearly half of Twitter’s employees and made significant cuts to the trust and safety team.Researchers and civil society organizations have developed relationships with the platform’s trust and safety team to quickly alert them to hateful or problematic content Found that I didn’t Anyone who has left their contact information on the platform.
The platform is almost banned On the eve of Brazil’s 2022 presidential runoff, the country’s electoral court is concerned that Musk will allow election-related lies to spread.a group of academic researchers Hate speech surge detected After Musk took the helm, last September, X lays off 5 employees ahead of historic election year The remaining trust and safety staff are focused on combating misinformation and disinformation.
Skeadas said that before Musk took over, there were about 400 Twitter employees responsible for trust and safety, and about 5,000 contractors who helped review content on the platform. More than 4,000 of contractors were fired.
Even though Yaccarino claims that the number of trust and security staff has increased by more than 10% recently, the platform may still have far fewer people responsible for user security. It’s “impossible” for the company to have more trust and safety staff than it did before Musk, Skeadas said. “If there are 20 employees left and they hire two, that’s a 10% increase, but compared to before , it’s still nothing,” she said.