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Extremely hateful speech is booming on Twitter in the wake of Elon Musk takeover, new research finds

The new Twitter CEO Elon Musk said in the last month “hate speech-related impressions” were down dramatically on the site since Musk took control.

It’s an impressive claimconsidering Musk has imposed massive layoffs and evicted many employees depleting the company of vital resources to enforce its content moderated policies. The billionaire himself has criticised.

Two watchdog organizations released research that showed Musk’s assertions simply didn’t stand up to scrutiny, and provided one of the most precise images to date of the rising waves of hateful speech that has swept across the platform.

The Center for Countering Digital Hate and Anti-Defamation League both claimed in reports that the amount of hateful content on Twitter has risen significantly under Musk’s leadership.

Particularly specifically, specifically, the Center for Countering Digital Hate stated that the use of the word “n-word” under Musk is more than triple that of 2022’s average and that the use of slurs directed at gay men and trans people are on the rise by 58 percent and 62%, respectively.

The Anti-Defamation League said in a separate report that their data indicates “both an rise in antisemitic posts on the platform as well as a decline on the moderating of antisemitic messages.”

Both groups expressed their concern about the changes they have observed on Twitter as one of the most powerful communication platforms around the globe. Its Anti-Defamation League described the deteriorating state of affairs as an “troubling issue” which “will likely worsen, because of the recent reductions to the Twitter’s staff for content moderation.”

The news comes just minutes after Kanye’s Twitter account was suspended following a tweet where Kanye West posted an altered picture that included the Star of David with a Swastika in the middle and was featured as a guest on Alex Jones’ Infowars, where he was praised by Hitler.

Imrad Ahmed, the chief director for the Center for Countering Digital Hate The Center for Countering Digital Hate said Musk had “sent his bat signal to any kind of misogynist, racist, and homophobe who wanted to know that Twitter is open to business, and they will responded in a manner that is appropriate.”

“A safe space for hate is a hostile environment to most decent folks,” Ahmed added, “by means of comparison, who would want to sit in a cafe or pub where crazies are screaming expletives and bigotry, let alone have the chutzpah to claim that it was democratically-essential debate?”

Twitter did not immediately reply to a request to comment early on Friday morning.

In the afternoon of Friday, Musk responded to a New York Times article about the study in tweets that were “utterly incorrect,” without specifying what part of the report which he disagreed with. Musk then reiterated his contention the “hate speech impressions” or the amount of times a tweet that contains hate speech has been seen “continue to fall” from the beginning of establishing the company, when the platform witnessed a rise in hate speech intended for testing Musk’s tolerance.

The studies conducted by CCDH and ADL claims to demonstrate an entirely different scenario however, they do highlight the prevalence and frequency of hateful speech as a whole.

Musk has stated that in the future, Twitter will share its information on hate speech views on an annual basis.

Musk has stated repeatedly that he’s looking to rewrite some of the guidelines for content moderation that were in place prior to his taking control of the company. He has stated that he will only want speech to be banned if it provokes violence or is in violation of the laws.

This billionaire already reverted Twitter’s old Covid misinformation policy and has said that he will provide “general amnesty” to those who were previously barred for breaking Twitter rules.

“These changes are already impacting the growth of hatred on Twitter in addition, the return of extremists from all backgrounds to the platform is likely to accelerate the spread of extremist material and disinformation,” the Anti-Defamation League stated. “This could also result in an increase in user harassment.”



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