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    A tidal wave of bad news has rained down on Twitter in the U.S. since Elon Musk bought the company in late October. Almost immediately after the acquisition, hate speech spiked on the platform, the company spectacularly botched a new paid verification system, and Musk went to war against major advertisers that had pulled back spending. But overseas, watchdogs say, the situation is perhaps even more dire. “There are certain markets that Twitter is operating in that are in open genocide,” said Thenmozhi Soundararajan, executive director of Equality Labs, a civil rights organization that advocates against caste systems in South Asia. In India, she said, social media has fueled religious and caste-based persecution for years, with extremists using platforms including Twitter to broadcast hate speech and inspire acts of violence. Prior to Musk’s tenure, Twitter had an entire human rights team dedicated to addressing these kinds of dangers, she said. Now, “there’s like no one in charge. The people we used to email, the emails bounce back.” In just over a month, Musk has reportedly slashed Twitter’s staff by about...
    The European Union warned Elon Musk on Wednesday that Twitter could be banned from Europe if he fails to abide by a set of rules regarding content moderation of the platform. Thierry Breton, the EU’s commissioner, discussed the possibility of a ban with Musk in a video meeting, according to people familiar with the conversation. Breton claimed that if Musk wishes to avoid the ban, he must follow several rules with the platform, which include getting rid of an “arbitrary” approach to reinstating banned users, pursuing disinformation “aggressively,” and agreeing to an “extensive independent audit” of the platform by 2023, according to the Financial Times. If Musk chooses to disregard the warning, it would break the EU’s Digital Services Act and result in either Twitter being banned across Europe or the platform being fined up to 6% of global turnover. Musk claimed repeatedly during his conversation with Breton that he believes the act is “very sensible” and that he thinks the policy should be applied worldwide, according to people briefed on the conversation. TWITTER DROPS COVID-19...
    This particular social media giant may be beyond saving, but the idea of a public-interest social network is something worth fighting for. Twitter is unraveling at the speed of a SpaceX rocket. Things have gotten so bad under the erratic reign of Elon Musk that the future of the social-media company is in question. What, if anything, should be done to pull Twitter from the brink? From the moment Musk walked through the door, he’s sought to impose his unique brand of creative destruction on Twitter. But the results have been less than brilliant, and far more damaging. Musk’s takeover deal itself saddled him and his investors with a $13-billion debt load that could force Twitter to default on payment as early as next April, with the possibility of banks forcing the company into bankruptcy. Bad financing was only the beginning. To help service his debt Musk drastically slashed costs, including laying off half of Twitter’s staff, thousands of the company’s outside contractors, and forcing more than a thousand others to walk off the job. He decimated Twitter’s trust...
    In this article TWTRFollow your favorite stocksCREATE FREE ACCOUNTElon Musk said that his company SpaceX cannot fund the Starlink service in Ukraine "indefinitely."Michael Gonzalez | Getty Images News | Getty ImagesTwitter owner Elon Musk claimed on Monday in a series of tweets that Apple had threatened to remove the Twitter app from the App Store as part of its app review moderation process. "Apple has also threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won't tell us why," Musk tweeted. In other tweets fired off on Monday morning, he called Apple's App Store fees a "secret 30% tax," and ran a poll asking if "Apple should publish all censorship actions it has taken that affect its customers." He also claimed that Apple has pulled most of its advertising from Twitter. Apple's App Store is the only way to distribute software to iPhones. If the Twitter app were pulled, the social network would lose one of its main distribution platforms, although it the service is available for the web. In addition, Apple requires iPhone app makers to pay between 15%...
    Elon Musk has left the keys to all Twitter content moderation decisions, such as reinstating former President Donald Trump, in his own hands. Musk said in a Zoom call on Saturday that while he intends to form the content moderation council he had proposed the first day he owned the company, the ultimate power to make decisions about content would be left to him. This revelation arrives days after Musk reinstated several banned accounts, including those of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Trump, and the Babylon Bee. "We are going to do a content council, but it's an advisory council," Musk said in a recording acquired by TMZ. "It's not a … they're not the ones who actually … At the end of the day, it will be me deciding, and, like, any pretense to the contrary is simply not true. Because obviously, I could choose who's on that content council, and I don't need to listen to what they say." NYU PROFESSOR THINKS RUSSIANS HACKED MUSK'S TWITTER POLL TO HELP TRUMP Musk had proposed creating...
    When Elon Musk completed his $44 billion takeover of Twitter last month, advertisers and individual users feared for what might happen to the site in the hands of a self-described “free speech absolutist.” Musk sought to address their concerns by announcing the formation of a new “content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints,” promising that no “major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes.” But it seems that the arch troll wasn’t exactly telling the whole story. In footage of a company Zoom call on Saturday obtained by TMZ, Musk revealed that while the council really will be formed, it will be completely powerless. In a shocking twist, he said the crucial decision-making power will ultimately lie solely with him. “We are going to do a content council, but it’s an advisory council,” Musk said in the call. “It’s not a… They’re not the ones who actually… At the end of the day it will be me deciding, and like any pretense to the contrary is simply not true. Because obviously I could choose who’s on...
    The head of Apple's App Store deactivated his account on Twitter amid the possibility of tension between the Elon Musk-owned platform and the two companies that are the internet's main gatekeepers: Apple and Google.  Phil Schiller, who also leads events for Apple, had been active on Twitter since 2008 and had over 200,000 followers. Twitter still plans to relaunch its paid subscription service, Twitter Blue, at a cost of $8 per month on Nov. 29.  Since most people access Twitter on iPhones or Android devices, this means that Apple and Google stand to profit if Musk's revamped subscription service takes off.  The head of Apple's App Store deactivated his account on Twitter amid the possibility of tension between the platform owned by Elon Musk (above) and the two companies that are the internet's main gatekeepers: Apple and Google If a war of words erupts between Musk and Apple CEO Tim Cook (above), for example, Apple could remove Twitter from App Store RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next US Army tests DRONES to deliver blood and medical...
    Trump advisor Steve Bannon (L) watches as President Donald Trump greets Elon Musk, SpaceX and Tesla CEO, before a policy and strategy forum with executives in the State Dining Room of the White House February 3, 2017 in Washington, DC.Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images Civil rights leaders swiftly condemned Twitter owner Elon Musk's decision to lift former U.S. President Donald Trump's ban from the platform, accusing the Tesla and SpaceX CEO of breaking commitments he gave them just weeks earlier when he first took over the platform. "In Elon Musk's Twittersphere, you can incite an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, which led to the deaths of multiple people, and still be allowed to spew hate speech and violent conspiracies on his platform," NAACP President Derrick Johnson said in a statement. "Any advertiser still funding Twitter should immediately pause all advertising. If Elon Musk continues to run Twitter like this, using garbage polls that do not represent the American people and the needs of our democracy, God help us all."related investing newsAnalysts cheer Iger's return to Disney; MoffettNathanson upgrades...
    Amid a mass exodus of advertisers, “Chief Twit” Elon Musk took to his newly purchased social media platform on Wednesday to assure companies that Twitter will remain a safe space for their brands. In an hour-long livestream, known as a “Twitter Space,” Musk cajoled advertisers with promises of robust content moderation and account verification practices. The billionaire faces a formidable challenge: shoring up Twitter’s revenues without alienating the highly vocal band of right-wing users who initially celebrated the acquisition. Twitter lost—either temporarily or permanently—at least nine of its major advertisers in the two weeks after Musk took the helm, including big names like General Mills and Volkswagen. Many of the brands suggested they were concerned about potential changes to the platform’s content moderation policies, and whether their ads would be placed next to racist or hateful speech. (Musk, meanwhile, blamed the exodus on the activists organizing a boycott of the platform.) On Wednesday, he seemed determined to win back corporate support, taking a softer, more moderate tone as he discussed thorny issues such as mitigating toxic speech and implementing...
    Elon Musk announced that Twitter would suspend accounts that engage in impersonation after multiple celebrities attempted to mock the billionaire. Musk tweeted the update to the company's content moderation on Sunday. The ban arose after several actors, including Kathy Griffin and Sarah Silverman, changed their profiles to impersonate Musk to mock him. The decision arises days after Musk promised to delay company content moderation decisions by several weeks. TWITTER ALTERNATIVE MASTODON 'TOOTS' WITH SURGE IN POPULARITY "Going forward, any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying "parody" will be permanently suspended," Musk tweeted. "Previously, we issued a warning before the suspension, but now that we are rolling out widespread verification, there will be no warning." Musk also noted that any changes to a user's name would cause them to lose their verified checkmark. Going forward, any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying “parody” will be permanently suspended— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 6, 2022 Twitter's content moderation policy already had rules on "parody, commentary and fan accounts," but Musk's decision appears to toughen...
    Win McNamee/Getty Images New Twitter owner Elon Musk “charmed” advertising executives on a conference call last Thursday but then “undermined his own progress the next day” with his own “petulant and thoughtless” behavior, according to one of the marketers on that call. Last Friday — the same day that Musk laid off roughly half of Twitter’s workforce — the self-proclaimed “Chief Twit” complained about “activist groups pressuring advertisers” causing “a massive drop in revenue,” claiming “nothing has changed with content moderation” and blaming these activists for “trying to destroy free speech in America.” Twitter has had a massive drop in revenue, due to activist groups pressuring advertisers, even though nothing has changed with content moderation and we did everything we could to appease the activists. Extremely messed up! They’re trying to destroy free speech in America. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 4, 2022 Lou Paskalis, a longtime ad executive and the former head of global media for Bank of America, replied to Musk’s tweet with two tweets of his own. Elon, Great chat yesterday, As you heard overwhelmingly...
    Saturday Night Live took a swing at Elon Musk's idea for a content moderation council on Twitter on this week's show. Cast members Keenan Thompson and Chloe Fineman took on the roles of a fictional two-person council as "the only two Twitter employees who hadn't been laid off," a reference to recent firings from the platform. JACK DORSEY APOLOGIZES FOR ELON MUSK MESS AT TWITTER Several characters approached the panel to petition to get their accounts back, including those accused of posting sexually explicit content, doxxing other users, and being a bot account. At one point, cast member James Austin Johnson approaches the council while impersonating former President Donald Trump and explains why he would rather be reinstated to Twitter than remain on his own social media platform, Truth Social. "Excuse me — yes, we've all moved to Truth Social and we love Truth Social. It's very great and in many ways it's also terrible. It's very bad, very, very bad," Johnson said on the NBC show. "It's a little buggy in terms...
    President Joe Biden criticized Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter during a campaign rally in Illinois on Friday, warning the new ownership would lead to the spread of "lies all across the world." The president lamented Musk’s suggestion that he would roll back Twitter’s content moderation policies, arguing it would lead to a spread of misinformation on the site. Biden’s concerns have been echoed by several others who have criticized Musk’s new ownership, claiming it would lead to a platform of hate speech and disinformation. MUSK PROPOSES COUNCIL TO OVERSEE CONTENT MODERATION DECISIONS AT TWITTER "Elon Musk goes out and buys an outlet that sends — that spews lies all across the world," Biden said during a campaign event for Reps. Lauren Underwood (D-IL) and Sean Casten (D-IL). "There are no editors anymore in America. … How do we expect kids to be able to understand what is at stake? What is at stake? So there's a lot going on, a lot going on. But we have an enormous opportunity.” Musk has repeatedly said he intends...
    Brandon Magnus/Getty Images Kanye West may be back on Twitter, but he’s already getting policed at the platform, which was recently purchased by Elon Musk. A Friday tweet in which West, who now goes by Ye, compared being called “anti-Semitic” to being referred to as the n-word was taken down within minutes. Ye’s tweet was repeating a line from another user, and it was taken down for violating the social media platform’s rules. Mediaite captured a screenshot of the tweet: Screenshot via Twitter Ye tweeted after that message, so he appears to still have access to his account. He was originally booted from the platform for an anti-Semitic message last month. He’s since seen a major deal with Adidas fall apart over his troubling statements. Ye announced after being suspended from Twitter that he is purchasing Parler, a conservative social media platform. Since taking over Twitter, Musk has put forth some substantial changes, including massive layoffs. Musk’s relationship to Ye and past comments about not believing in lifetime bans from social media have fueled speculation that the Tesla founder will roll...
    Brandon Magnus/Getty Images Kanye West may be back on Twitter, but he’s already getting policed by Elon Musk’s new regime at the platform. A Friday tweet in which West, who now goes by Ye, compared being called “anti-Semitic” to being referred to as the n-word was taken down within minutes. Ye’s tweet was repeating a line from another user, and it was taken down for violating the social media platform’s rules. Mediaite captured a screenshot of the tweet: Screenshot via Twitter Ye tweeted after that message, so he appears to still have access to his account. He was originally booted from the platform for an anti-Semitic message last month. He’s since seen a major deal with Adidas fall apart over his troubling statements. Ye announced after being suspended from Twitter that he is purchasing Parler, a conservative social media platform. Since taking over Twitter, Musk has put forth some substantial changes, including massive layoffs. Musk’s relationship to Ye and past comments about not believing in lifetime bans from social media have fueled speculation that the Tesla founder will roll back content...
    Elon Musk accused political activists of hurting Twitter's revenue by pressuring corporations to pause their advertising campaigns and framed their actions as an attack on free speech. Musk complained that advocacy groups forced corporations to withdraw their advertising campaigns over concerns about the platform's moderation. The billionaire's complaints follow reports that Pfizer, General Mills, and several other companies withdrew advertising as they consider Twitter's viability as a platform. UNCERTAIN FLIGHT PLAN: GENERAL MILLS, PFIZER, AND AUDI JOIN THOSE PAUSING TWITTER ADS "Twitter has had a massive drop in revenue due to activist groups pressuring advertisers, even though nothing has changed with content moderation, and we did everything we could to appease the activists," the billionaire tweeted. "Extremely messed up! They're trying to destroy free speech in America." Twitter has had a massive drop in revenue, due to activist groups pressuring advertisers, even though nothing has changed with content moderation and we did everything we could to appease the activists.Extremely messed up! They’re trying to destroy free speech in America.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 4, 2022 ...
    In this article TWTRFollow your favorite stocksCREATE FREE ACCOUNTElon Musk arrives on the red carpet for the automobile awards "Das Goldene Lenkrad" (The golden steering wheel) given by a German newspaper in Berlin, Germany, November 12, 2019.Hannibal Hanschke | ReutersDays after closing his $44 billion purchase of Twitter, Elon Musk faced pressure from heads of civil rights groups to disallow many users who had been banned from the platform from returning, and to give company staffers access to the tools necessary to combat election-related misinformation. Leaders of the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, Color of Change, Asian American Foundation and Free Press, a media reform advocacy group, spoke with Musk in an almost hour-long Zoom call on Tuesday, one week before the Nov. 8 midterm elections. Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, helped organize the call after speaking with Musk previously, and took part in the meeting, according to three of the attendees. Some of the organizations represented have co-signed an open letter to Twitter's advertisers to encourage them to "cease all advertising on Twitter globally if he [Musk] follows...
    Elon Musk confirmed that Twitter would not restore banned accounts for several weeks, further delaying the return of figures such as former President Donald Trump. Musk's update to his content moderation policy arrived after meeting with representatives from the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, and other interest groups to discuss the company's policies. The billionaire is working with Twitter to form a body to oversee content moderation decisions. SEE IT: ELON MUSK RESPONDS TO STEPHEN KING'S RANT AGAINST BLUE CHECK PAYMENTS Twitter will "continue to combat hate & harassment & enforce its election integrity policies," Musk said on Wednesday. He also said that "Twitter will not allow anyone who was de-platformed for violating Twitter rules back on the platform until we have a clear process for doing so, which will take at least a few more weeks." Musk also said that Twitter's content moderation council, which he announced on Friday, will include representatives with "widely divergent views," including leaders from the civil rights community and from groups who are regularly discriminated against. Musk's announcement contrasts with...
    In this article TWTRFollow your favorite stocksCREATE FREE ACCOUNTIn this illustration, Elon Musk's Twitter account is displayed on the screen of a mobile phone with the Twitter logo in the background. A whistleblower's complaint that Twitter misled federal regulators about the company's security risks could provide Elon Musk with fresh ammunition in his bid to get out of buying the company for $44 billion.Sheldon Cooper | Lightrocket | Getty ImagesUsers who've been banned from Twitter for violating its rules, a group that includes former President Donald Trump, will not have the chance to return to the platform for at least another few weeks, the company's new owner Elon Musk said in a tweet on Wednesday. Musk said the delay will give Twitter time to set up a process around determining when and how banned users can return. Musk has said he doesn't believe in permanent bans and called it a "mistake" to permanently suspend Trump in the wake of the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Twitter had said at the time it made the decision "due to...
    In this article TWTR-MXFollow your favorite stocksCREATE FREE ACCOUNTIn this photo illustration, the image of Elon Musk is displayed on a computer screen and the logo of twitter on a mobile phone in Ankara, Turkiye on October 06, 2022.Muhammed Selim Korkutata | Anadolu Agency | Getty ImagesElon Musk's Twitter has taken away certain content moderation and policy enforcement tools from some employees ahead of the U.S. midterm elections, according to Bloomberg News. The move affects most employees who are part of Twitter's Trust and Safety organization, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources. The staffers are unable to address and discipline user accounts that violate Twitter's rules around hate speech and misinformation unless they involve harm, the report said. Twitter is still using automated content moderation tools and third-party contractors to prevent the spread of misinformation and inflammatory posts while Twitter employees review high-profile violations, Bloomberg said. Twitter didn't immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment. Yoel Roth, Twitter head of safety, reacted to the Bloomberg News in a tweet. "This is exactly what we (or any company) should be...
    Days after Elon Musk took over Twitter and just before the midterms in America, the social media site has limited some content moderation tools. It may hamper staff's ability to stop misinformation, as they will not be able to manually change or punish accounts. The change is the latest implemented by Musk and comes after he made significant staff cuts and fired the Twitter board, making himself the sole member. He is also reportedly considering other major new ideas, including charging $20 a month for verification.  Those working in Twitter's Trust and Safety organization are currently unable to alter or punish accounts breaking the platform's rules on misleading information, offensive posts and hate speech. According to insiders on the matter, they can only penalize people making posts that violate Twitter rules to the extent of real-world harm, according to Bloomberg. They added that the team were manually enforcing those posts.  The change is the latest implemented by Musk, pictured, and comes after he made significant staff cuts and fired the Twitter board, making himself the sole member At Twitter, staff...
    \u201cWe are back! Thank you @elonmusk for stopping the commie who suspended me from Twitter a week before the election. Twitter is much better with you at the helm. Thank you @MediaRightNews1 @JennaEllisEsq @KariLake @Brick_Suit & others for spreading the word! #AZSOS\u201d — Mark Finchem #JustFollowTheLaw VoteFinchem.com (@Mark Finchem #JustFollowTheLaw VoteFinchem.com) 1667259618 "I LOVE THE NEW @elonmusk OWNERSHIP," Jenna Ellis tweeted after Finchem's account was freed. Musk has indicated that he wants Twitter to be a forum for free speech, though he recently said in a note directed toward Twitter advertisers that the platform cannot turn into "a free-for-all hellscape." He has also said that a "content moderation council" will be established. "Twitter will be forming a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints. No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes," Musk tweeted. "Anyone suspended for minor & dubious reasons will be freed from Twitter jail," he wrote in another post. \u201cTwitter will be forming a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints. \n\nNo major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen...
    Musk has expressed a desire to make Twitter into a forum where people can engage in free speech. But in a recent message directed toward Twitter advertisers, he said that the platform cannot turn into "a free-for-all hellscape." "The reason I acquired Twitter is because it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence," Musk noted. He said in the statement that the platform "obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences! In addition to adhering to the laws of the land, our platform must be warm and welcoming to all, where you can choose your desired experience according to your preferences, just as you can choose, for example, to see movies or play video games ranging from all ages to mature." Musk has also said that a "content moderation council" will be established. "Twitter will be forming a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints. No major content decisions...
    Musk has previously said that he believes banishing Trump from the platform was a "mistake." "I don't think Twitter can be successful without me," Trump told Fox News Digital. "I am staying on Truth. I like it better, I like the way it works, I like Elon, but I'm staying on Truth," the former president said, referring to the social media platform Truth Social. In response to Musk's announcement about the creation of "a content moderation council," Hans Mahncke, co-host of EpochTV's "Truth over News," noted that "Content moderation council sounds pretty Orwellian." "Trump should be invited to be on this council," Jenna Ellis tweeted. Alex Berenson, who was previously booted off Twitter but later reinstated, pushed back against the idea of content moderation on the platform. "My take: @elonmusk should accept that under California law - and the new 5th Circuit ruling - Twitter is a common carrier that must carry all legal messages/communications without restriction (child porn etc obviously would not be protected). No content moderation. The end," Berenson tweeted. \u201cMy take: @elonmusk should accept that under...
    Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images Kanye West is back on Twitter Friday after a weeks-long public implosion that saw the controversial musician appear on Fox News and spew a series of anti-Semitic comments. Elon Musk, the free speech advocate and brand new owner of Twitter, made clear on Friday, however, that West’s reappearance on the platform had nothing to do with him. Musk tweeted on Friday some vague details about his plans for content moderation, writing, “Twitter will be forming a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints. No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes.” Twitter will be forming a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints. No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 28, 2022 A ‘Never Trump’ Twitter account, “Republicans Against Trump,” replied to that tweet asking, “So why did you restore already Kanye West’s account? Twitter should not be a platform to spew racism and antisemitism.” Musk promptly replied to the question, claiming, “Ye’s account was restored...
    The conservative alternatives to Twitter praised Elon Musk after he finalized his purchase of the social platform. Parler, Gettr, and Truth Social are all social networks presenting as free-speech-focused alternatives to Big Tech platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Several of these companies have voiced their support for Musk's decision to buy Twitter for $44 billion and his willingness to change the company's content moderation and censorship policies. "Parler welcomes Twitter as an ally in the fight to reclaim the Internet for free thought and expression," Amy Peikoff, Parler's chief policy officer, told the Washington Examiner. "The fact that Musk found it necessary, at the price of $44 billion, to purchase Twitter is proof-of-concept for what we at Parler have offered all along." MUSK PROPOSES COUNCIL TO OVERSEE CONTENT MODERATION DECISIONS AT TWITTER While Peikoff praised the platform's decision regarding content moderation, she said she was uncertain about Musk's plans for its advertising efforts. "The number of places where content 'moderation' is done in service of politically motivated narratives has just decreased by one. That's great...
    In this article TWTRFollow your favorite stocksCREATE FREE ACCOUNTIn this photo illustration, the image of Elon Musk is displayed on a computer screen and the logo of twitter on a mobile phone in Ankara, Turkiye on October 06, 2022.Muhammed Selim Korkutata | Anadolu Agency | Getty ImagesAfter closing a $44 billion transaction to take Twitter private, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk — now the de facto CEO of Twitter — announced that he plans to form a "content moderation council" at the social networking company. He says he will not make any "major content decisions" or reinstate any accounts that were previously banned before the council convenes. In May 2022, after Musk had agreed to buy Twitter at $54.20 per share, he said he would reverse Twitter's lifetime ban on former President Donald Trump if the acquisition went through. At the time, Musk said, "I would reverse the permanent ban... I don't own Twitter yet. So this is not like a thing that will definitely happen, because what if I don't own Twitter?" Musk has not yet offered details...
    Elon Musk announced that he is forming a council to oversee Twitter's content moderation decisions. Musk said on Friday that Twitter would implement a "Content moderation council" with "widely diverse viewpoints" to help with decisions about content. The idea was proposed a day after Musk took complete control of the company and appears to draw inspiration from Facebook's Oversight Board. It's also a concept that Twitter has previously explored. While many users expect Musk to manage the company's content moderation policies, the billionaire said he would not do so until the council is formed. "No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes," Musk tweeted. Musk has not released details on what the council will entail or who will appear on it. TRUMP SAYS HE WILL STICK WITH TRUTH SOCIAL INSTEAD OF REJOINING MUSK-RUN TWITTER Twitter formed a Trust and Safety Council in 2016 in an attempt to take a "global and inclusive approach" to its content. The council was quickly slammed by critics, who described it as an "Orwellian Nightmare." The...
    Two men identifying themselves as axed Twitter employees claimed Elon Musk has already started laying off Twitter workers. The new 'Chief Twit' reportedly wielded the ax on Friday morning just hours after taking over the social media giant following a dramatic $44billion takeover. He fired an entire team of data engineers, with two of them seen marched out of its San Francisco head office with their belongings stuffed in cardboard boxes, according to CNBC. They were said to be 'visibly shaken' and one - named Daniel Johnson- even told the outlet he owned a Tesla and does not know how he will be able to make the payments. 'It's somewhere I worked at for six years and everything suddenly changed,' Johnson told reporters about losing his job at the social media company.  It comes after Musk formally took over Twitter late last night and sacked several top executives including its CEO, CFO and chief lawyer. He also overturned lifetime bans and restrictions on a raft of famous faces booted off the platform, including Donald Trump and Kanye West.  Musk, however, Tweeted on...
    Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP/Getty Images New Twitter owner Elon Musk announced on Friday that the social media site, which he acquired for $44 billion, will have a diverse “content moderation council” and that, until it meets, there will be no reinstatements of suspended accounts. “Twitter will be forming a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints. No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes,” he tweeted. Twitter will be forming a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints. No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 28, 2022 Musk said in a Thursday note to advertisers that while his platform will allow for freedom of expression it will have some limitations: The reason I acquired Twitter is because it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence. There is currently great danger that social media will splinter into far right wing...
    Elon Musk tempered right-wing enthusiasm on Friday, declaring that he won't unban any Twitter accounts until a new “content moderation council” is formed. The committee, he wrote, will be comprised of members with “widely diverse viewpoints.” He added that no other significant content changes will occur for the moment either. It remains to be seen whether Musk will retain the ability to overrule the committee. On Friday, misinformation proliferated widely on the platform, including from right-wing users declaring that their accounts were no longer suppressed, and from media outlets incorrectly stating that Kanye West's account was reactivated. (It was never taken down.) This story is breaking and will be updated.
    Elon Musk has officially taken over as CEO of Twitter -- and Nilay Patel, the founder of top tech news site The Verge, thinks he's going to regret it. In a column titled, "Welcome to hell, Elon," Patel lays out all the reasons why managing Twitter content -- and political Twitter content in particular -- is going to be a headache that no sane person would want to take on. "You f*cked up real good, kiddo," Patel begins, addressing Musk. "Twitter is a disaster clown car company that is successful despite itself, and there is no possible way to grow users and revenue without making a series of enormous compromises that will ultimately destroy your reputation and possibly cause grievous damage to your other companies." He then went through the litany of challenges facing Twitter that have nothing to do with the challenges Musk has cited, such as an overabundance of bot accounts, and everything to do with politics and economics. "You can write as many polite letters to advertisers as you want, but you cannot reasonably expect to collect...
    CARINA JOHANSEN/NTB/AFP via Getty Images Elon Musk, the richest man in the world, wrote a short announcement on Twitter Thursday captioned, “Dear Twitter Advertisers,” and declared that under his watch content moderation would continue in an apparent effort to keep companies advertising on the platform. The short announcement was shared in two screenshots and appeared to walk back the idea that Musk would reform Twitter to be an absolute free speech zone. Musk’s bid to buy Twitter in early April for $43 billion has led to a months-long saga of back-and-forth negotiations as the eccentric billionaire has tried to pull out of the debt-riddled deal and been pulled back in by an ongoing court battle. Now, as Musk’s takeover of the social media platform appears imminent, he is working to maintain the company’s revenue stream. “I wanted to reach out personally to share my motivation in acquiring Twitter. There has been much speculation about why I bought Twitter and what I think about advertising. Most of it has been wrong,” he wrote on Twitter, adding: The reason I acquired Twitter is...
    Spotify announced Wednesday it has acquired Irish content moderation company Kinzen months after weathering controversy over Joe Rogan's podcast content. The Swedish music streaming and podcast giant said it acquired the Irish company, which it has partnered with since 2020, to continue to enhance its "approach to platform safety." SPOTIFY FORMS COUNCIL TO DEAL WITH DISINFORMATION AND HATE SPEECH “We’ve long had an impactful and collaborative partnership with Kinzen and its exceptional team. Now, working together as one, we’ll be able to even further improve our ability to detect and address harmful content, and importantly, in a way that better considers local context,” said Dustee Jenkins, global head of public affairs for Spotify, in a statement, noting the move “underscores how seriously we take our commitment to creating a safe and enjoyable experience for creators and users.” The company says Kinzen uses "machine learning and human expertise" to search and "analyze potential harmful content and hate speech in multiple languages and countries." The details of the deal to acquire Kinzen were not released by...
    Washington (CNN Business)Parler, the social media platform frequented by many conservatives, is being restored to Google's app store following what Google said were substantial changes to the app's content moderation practices. Parler will again be available for download through the Google Play Store as early as Friday, Google (GOOG (GOOG)) said in a statement. The app had been suspended following the Jan. 6 Capitol riots over concerns it was hosting incitement and threats of violence; at the time, Parler lacked key content moderation systems including ways for users to report objectionable content and the ability to remove users who violated the app's terms of service, Google said. Since then, Parler has added the missing tools and improved its content moderation, paving the way for it to come back to Google's official app marketplace, Google said."As we've long stated, apps are able to appear on Google Play provided they comply with Play's developer policies," a Google spokesperson said. "All apps on Google Play that feature User Generated Content (UGC) are required to implement robust moderation practices that prohibit objectionable content, provide...
    Google has not approved Truth Social's Android app for distribution because of insufficient content moderation. The Trump-affiliated social network was expected to get an Android release this week, according to Truth Social CEO Devin Nunes. However, Google now claims that it has not approved the app's release due to concerns about its content moderation practices. TRUTH SOCIAL'S PARENT COMPANY LOSES $6.2 MILLION AFTER STOCK PLUNGES "On Aug. 19, we notified Truth Social of several violations of standard policies in their current app submission and reiterated that having effective systems for moderating user-generated content is a condition of our terms of service for any app to go live on Google Play," Google told Axios. "Last week Truth Social wrote back acknowledging our feedback and saying that they are working on addressing these issues." Content moderation on Truth Social has been an issue in the past. The House Committee on Oversight and Reform filed a letter on Aug. 19, requesting information about the company's content moderation practices, an inquiry it also made to other social networks, such as...
    Donald Trump's social media app "Truth Social" in Apple's App Store on an iPhone 12.Christoph Dernbach | Picture Alliance | Getty Images Truth Social, the would-be Twitter competitor created by Trump Media and Technology Group, remains unavailable on the Google Play store. According to a report from Axios, Google said the app lacks effective systems for moderating user-generated content, which violates the store's terms of service. "On Aug. 19, we notified Truth Social of several violations of standard policies in their current app submission and reiterated that having effective systems for moderating user-generated content is a condition of our terms of service for any app to go live on Google Play," the tech company, which is owned by Alphabet, told Axios in a statement. Google didn't immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment. The restriction means that Android users, who make up 44% of smartphone users in the U.S., can't download the app. Google will not let the app go live until the content issues are addressed. Truth Social acknowledged Google's concerns and said it would work on addressing...
    New York (CNN Business)In the wake of the Supreme Court's controversial decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, people have flooded social media platforms with information about how to access in-person or medication abortions to help those in states that have outlawed the procedure or could soon do so. But the situation could create a new set of challenges for the tech platforms. While many tech companies have publicly offered to support employees seeking abortions by covering travel costs, they must also confront a still-developing legal environment that could impact their policies for how to moderate abortion-related posts from users. Certain posts now risk effectively advising people how to break the law in some states. A big question for tech companies post-Roe: How to respond to law enforcement requests for data?Already, a complex patchwork of state laws has emerged — with some states outlawing the procedure, some criminalizing it and others doubling down on their plans to protect rights to abortion. Some of the new laws banning abortion were quickly challenged or stayed by courts. There is also uncertainty over whether...
    Twitter is expanding its new feature facilitating reporting tweets worldwide. This new approach lets users provide additional information and context to tweets they report, giving the Big Tech company more context for determining whether content breaches the social media platform's Terms of Service. While the company announced it was testing the feature in December 2021 and made the option available to a select user base for testing, the new reporting process has gone global as of Friday, the Washington Examiner confirmed. TEN PERCENT OF TWITTER'S ACTIVE USERS ARE POSTING SPAM, SUPPORTING MUSK SKEPTICISM: REPORT "What can be frustrating and complex about reporting is that we enforce based on terms of service violations as defined by the Twitter Rules," Senior UX Manager Renna al Yassini said in the December 2021 announcement. "The vast majority of what people are reporting on fall within a much larger gray spectrum that don't meet the specific criteria of Twitter violations, but they're still reporting what they are experiencing as deeply problematic and highly upsetting." Screenshots of the new content moderation...
    
    Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images The U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 Tuesday to shoot down a Texas law that would have significantly hindered the ability of social media platforms to moderate content. In a peculiar alliance, Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Stephen Breyer, Brett Kavanaugh, John Roberts, and Sonia Sotomayor joined forces to block Texas House Bill 20. Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Elena Kagan, and Clarence Thomas dissented. HB 20 vowed to protect “Texans from wrongful censorship on social media platforms.” It was signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) last September. Abbott said at the time: Social media websites have become our modern-day public square. They are a place for healthy public debate where information should be able to flow freely — but there is a dangerous movement by social media companies to silence conservative viewpoints and ideas. That is wrong, and we will not allow it in Texas. Opponents argued the law, if applied to large platforms, would have forced them to allow hate speech, illegal content, dangerous rhetoric, and trends that put children in danger — such as the Tide Pod...
    A person walks down the sidewalk near the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., February 16, 2022.Jon Cherry | Reuters The Supreme Court blocked a controversial Texas' social media law, which the tech industry cautioned would allow for hateful content to run rampant online, from taking effect in a decision released on Tuesday. The law, HB20, prohibits online platforms from moderating or removing content based on viewpoint. It stems from a common charge on the right that major California-based social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are biased in their moderation strategies and disproportionately quiet conservative voices. The platforms have said they apply their community guidelines evenly and it's often the case that right-leaning users rank among the highest in engagement. "HB20 would compel platforms to disseminate all sorts of objectionable viewpoints," two industry groups that represent companies including Amazon, Facebook, Google and Twitter claimed in their emergency application with the court, "such as Russia's propaganda claiming that its invasion of Ukraine is justified, ISIS propaganda claiming that extremism is warranted, neo-Nazi or KKK screeds denying or supporting the Holocaust,...
    Texas has joined Florida among states with the largest school shootings in American history. Both states are governed by conservatives who insist that the Second Amendment is sacrosanct. But if either state took the First Amendment half as seriously, they wouldn't be attacking the constitutional rights of social media sites to remove content that helps cause mass shootings. The more people can watch the live streams of such shootings, the more children will die. Nearly every social media site bans the distribution of such videos and tries to stop their spread as quickly as possible. They also ban glorification of such shootings, denial that these tragedies ever occurred, and harassment of victims’ families. Most egregiously, Alex Jones spent a decade peddling the conspiracy theory that the Sandy Hook, Connecticut, massacre was staged to justify suppressing Americans’ gun rights. Grieving parents there—and later in Parkland, Florida—have been harassed for years by conspiracy theorists who insisted they must be “crisis actors” working in service of some nefarious government plot to trample Americans’ rights. Some parents even received death threats, and were...
    Washington (CNN Business)Key parts of a Florida law restricting social media platforms' ability to moderate content likely violate the First Amendment, a federal appeals court ruled Monday, in a victory for the tech industry amid a wider battle over digital speech. The opinion by a three-judge panel in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals comes ahead of a hotly anticipated Supreme Court decision involving a similar Texas law. Both cases are viewed as a bellwether for social media and could determine the future not only of the tech industry, but all Americans' First Amendment rights. In a statement, one of the technology advocacy groups behind both lawsuits, the Computer and Communications Industry Association, said the ruling was welcome news. Texas asks Supreme Court to keep state social media censorship law in effect"When a digital service takes action against problematic content on its own site 一 whether extremism, Russian propaganda, or racism and abuse 一 it is exercising its own right to free expression," said CCIA President Matt Schruers. "We will continue to fight for the First Amendment rights of digital...
    Twitter has updated its content moderation policy to affect what information may be shared in times of crisis. The Big Tech company released a blog post Thursday that introduced its "crisis misinformation policy," a new set of guidelines that will regulate what sorts of information will be shared during chaotic events such as armed conflicts, natural disasters, and other crises. "Today, we're introducing our crisis misinformation policy — a global policy that will guide our efforts to elevate credible, authoritative information, and will help to ensure viral misinformation isn't amplified or recommended by us during crises," wrote Twitter Head of Safety Yoel Roth. "In times of crisis, misleading information can undermine public trust and cause further harm to already vulnerable communities. Alongside our existing work to make reliable information more accessible during crisis events, this new approach will help to slow the spread by us of the most visible, misleading content, particularly that which could lead to severe harms." DONALD TRUMP'S ALTERNATIVE TO TWITTER, TRUTH SOCIAL, LAUNCHES WEB APP The new policy is an attempt to...
    (CNN Business)Tech platforms have struggled for years to stamp out videos of real-time massacres, such as those depicting the Christchurch shootings of 2019 and now a mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, which police say was a racially motivated hate crime. But a new state law shows how the tech industry could soon be pressured to do less, not more, in how it polices even ultra-violent content. Imagine if Saturday's livestreamed video of the attack in Buffalo were legally required to remain on social media. Imagine Facebook, Twitter and YouTube were forced to allow those gruesome images, or posts amplifying the suspect's racist ideologies, in between wedding photos and your aunt's tuna casserole recipe, with no way to block it. Imagine videos of murder and hateful speech being burned into your brain because the law requires platforms to host all content that isn't strictly illegal. Buffalo massacre puts spotlight on hate-filled websiteA Texas law has made all of that an open possibility. The law in question, HB 20, restricts tech platforms' ability to moderate user-generated content. In the name of...
    (CNN Business)Elon Musk appeared to endorse a key European law regulating social media on Monday when he appeared in a video with Thierry Breton, a top EU commissioner and digital regulator.In the video, Breton said he met with Musk to explain the finer points of the Digital Services Act, a forthcoming law that imposes higher content moderation standards on tech platforms. Asked by Breton whether he felt the DSA "fits pretty well" with how Musk believes platforms should be run, the billionaire Tesla (TSLA) CEO and prospective owner of Twitter said it is "exactly aligned with [what] we're thinking." "Very much agree with — it's been a great discussion and I really think that — I agree with everything you said, really, I think we're very much of the same mind and, you know, just anything that my companies can do that would be beneficial to Europe, we want do that," Musk said in the video. How Elon Musk could impact Twitters battles over speech abroadMusk later replied to Breton's tweet containing the video, reiterating his positive reflections on the...
    by Kalev Leetaru   The reaction among the press and tech communities to Elon Musk’s efforts to purchase Twitter has been nothing short of apocalyptic. A common theme has been that democracy itself would be under threat if unelected billionaire oligarchs controlled what was allowed online. Yet this is precisely how social media works today. The Musk controversy, like the Cambridge Analytica story before it, highlights the real issue: the fight over content moderation is less about online safety and more about who controls the digital public square. Only a year ago, the media cheered the unilateral decisions by a handful of billionaires to effectively banish then-President Donald Trump from the digital public square. Lawmakers and media outlets alike proclaimed the societal benefits of private companies controlling the digital public square beyond the reach of government. In contrast, the possibility of a libertarian-leaning billionaire like Musk wielding that same power has been presented as nothing short of an attack on democracy itself. In January, the Washington Post argued that oligarchs banning Trump wasn’t censorship; now it  warns of the “risks of social media ownership.” Former Facebook chief security officer Alex Stamos argued, “If you want people to be able to interact, you need...
    In this article TWTRElon Musk's Twitter profile displayed on a computer screen and Twitter logo displayed on a phone screen are seen in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on April 9, 2022.Jakub Porzycki | Nurphoto | Getty ImagesDepending who you ask in Washington, D.C., Monday's news that Twitter's board has accepted Elon Musk's $44 billion offer to buy the company and take it private either marks the return of free speech online or proof that billionaires like Musk must pay higher taxes. "Free speech is making a comeback," tweeted Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee that last week asked Twitter's board to preserve documents related to Musk's offer, signaling a potential probe should Republicans take back control of the chamber. "#TaxtheRich," tweeted Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wisc. Those were the two prominent themes from lawmakers on the right and left, respectively, surrounding news of the deal. The reactions highlight how differently both sides see the core issues in the tech industry, underscoring why Congress has yet to pass legislation that could seriously impact the...
    Former President Barack Obama in a major speech on Thursday called for more regulation of social media content, in order to diminish “disinformation.” The former president delivered a speech on the issue at Stanford University after spending months studying the subject. He described himself as “pretty close to a First Amendment absolutist” but immediately clarified that it did not apply to social media companies. “The First Amendment is a check on the power of the state. It doesn’t apply to private companies like Facebook and Twitter,” he said, calling for more “value judgements” on content moderation and censorship on social media. “While content moderation can limit the distribution of clearly dangerous content, it doesn’t go far enough,” Obama added. A young person reads a book next to copies of British writer George Orwell’s 1984 at Hong Kong’s annual book fair on July 15, 2015. (Aaron Tam/AFP via Getty Images) The former president complained that current content models for social media platforms allowed all content to flow equally. “[O]ver time we lose our capacity to distinguish between fact, opinion, and wholesale fiction....
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