Elon Musk’s Layoffs Have Devastated The Twitter Team Dedicated To Stopping The Sexual Abuse Of Children!

Elon Musk says he can stop child exploitation on Twitter

Elon Musk, less than a month into running Twitter, called the removal of content that exploits children his “Priority #1.”

According to interviews with four former employees, one current employee, internal company records, and interviews with people who work to stop child abuse content online, there is little evidence that the company is taking more aggressive action under his management or putting more resources toward the platform’s long-running problem with child sexual exploitation content.

Meanwhile, Musk has politicized the issue of online safety to further his campaign to denigrate Twitter’s previous leadership and portray his ownership of the company as part of a social and political battle against “the woke mind virus,” his term for center-left to far-left ideals. This change in attitude is in line with his increased use of extreme right-wing rhetoric online, which frequently includes baseless accusations of sexual abuse of minors.

As one person put it, “It is a crime that they refused to take action on child exploitation for years!” On Friday, Musk responded via Twitter to a resignation letter from a member of the company’s Trust and Safety Council who dealt with child abuse issues.

This Is Not True,” Former CEO Jack Dorsey Said

Twitter’s November account suspensions for child sexual exploitation content were higher than any other month of 2022, according to the company, and this was attributed to new partnerships with unnamed organizations and new “detection and enforcement methods” that Twitter did not detail.

This Is Not True, Former CEO Jack Dorsey Said

Due to layoffs, mass firings, and employee resignations, Twitter has fewer people and fewer resources to combat online child sexual exploitation content (also known as child pornography or child sexual abuse materials).

Internal records obtained by NBC News and CNBC show that as of early December, out of roughly 1,600 employees still at the company, 25 held titles related to “Trust and Safety.” This is despite the fact that Twitter’s headcount is still in flux. More than a hundred individuals, including employees of Musk’s other businesses like Tesla, SpaceX, and The Boring Co., as well as investors and advisors, make up the grand total.

A former Twitter employee who was involved in child safety initiatives stated that while the issue is still being worked on by a “handful” of people, the majority of the product managers and engineers who worked on it have since left the company. The worker was afraid of retribution from the company, so they only spoke on the condition of anonymity.

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By 2021’s close, Twitter’s workforce numbered over 7,500 people. Ex-employees claim layoffs would have occurred regardless of whether or not Musk had acquired the company.

There Was Radio Silence From Twitter In Response To Questions

Musk has also backed off of some of the company’s external commitments to child safety groups.

On Monday, for instance, Twitter disbanded its Trust and Safety Council, which had comprised 12 organizations that had provided advice on the company’s efforts to combat child sexual exploitation.

According to the U.S. government agency tasked with monitoring reports of child sexual abuse material online, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), Twitter’s reporting practices haven’t changed much under Musk’s leadership.

There Was Radio Silence From Twitter In Response To Questions

According to NCMEC representative Gavin Portnoy, despite “the rhetoric and some of what we’ve seen people posting online,” the company’s CyberTipline numbers are “almost identical” to what they were before Musk came on board.

Portnoy said that one difference between this year’s and last year’s social media roundtable was that Twitter didn’t send a representative. Portnoy stated, “The previous person was one of the folks who resigned.” Portnoy said that Twitter had declined his request for a proxy.

More recently, Musk has used the issue of child sexual exploitation content to attack former Twitter employees, most notably Yoel Roth, who was praised by Musk when he first became CEO in October and took over as head of the company’s trust and safety efforts. A few weeks after the U.S. midterm elections, Roth quit Twitter.

As a result of Musk’s false statements, Roth was subjected to a barrage of homophobic and antisemitic threats, memes, and slurs from internet users everywhere, including on Twitter. Following Musk’s unfounded accusations, Roth reportedly left his home on Monday due to safety concerns.

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According to Laurel Powell, the deputy director of communications and programs at Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ advocacy nonprofit, Musk’s incendiary tweets targeting Roth are part of a growing trend of far-right attacks on LGBTQ people using false allegations of “grooming.”

Powell argued that “grooming rhetoric” is often just “recycled hate speech against LGBTQ+ people.” That someone with Mr. Musk’s platform is contributing to such false disproven rhetoric raises serious concerns about the current state of affairs.

Twitter’s flawed efforts to remove content that promotes child sexual exploitation have been widely reported. PhotoDNA technology was announced by the company in 2013 as a means of blocking the distribution of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) that was already in circulation. But that tech can’t identify freshly fabricated stuff.

The company removed over a million accounts in 2021 for violating its child sexual exploitation content rules, as detailed in the company’s transparency reports, which detail things like legal requests and account takedowns.

Conclusion

Large digital and social media platforms with more than 5 million users will now be required to report compliance with the new IT Rules 2021 on a monthly basis. In its monthly report required by the 2021 IT Rules,

Twitter revealed that during the same period it received 582 complaints from Indian users and removed content from 20 URLs. Before, between August 26 and September 25, Twitter received 157 complaints and removed 129 URLs.

Author

  • Karan Sirari

    I am an author and a public speaker. I was born in India and have travelled to many different countries. I have a masters in public communication from California University and I love to write about famous peoples from different industries.

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