Democrats name on Musk to focus on hate speech on Twitter

Two Home Democrats have known as on Twitter CEO Elon Musk on Thursday to take motion towards the rise of hate speech on Twitter.

In a letter despatched to Musk, Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Mark Takano (D-Calif.) wrote that there was an “excessive spike” within the variety of tweets with slurs, and engagement with these tweets, for the reason that billionaire took over the social media app.

The letter cited information from the Heart for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) displaying that the variety of tweets containing slurs has grown exponentially when in comparison with the 2022 common. 

“Slurs towards Black individuals have tripled in day by day mentions. Slurs towards ladies have elevated 33 p.c from the 2022 common mentions, and slurs towards homosexual males have elevated by 58 p.c,” the letter stated.

“Earlier than you assumed the function of CEO, engagement with these tweets averaged 13.3 replies, retweets, or likes. Now, engagement with slurs has elevated 273 p.c, with the typical variety of replies, retweets, or likes averaging 49.5 on tweets containing hate speech.”

The letter additionally highlighted the rise in anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric on the platform. 

“We discover the rise of extremist actors and hate speech on Twitter demonstrably at odds together with your firm’s assertion that human security is a prime precedence,” they wrote.

The lawmakers posed a collection of inquiries to the Twitter proprietor about his plans for content material moderation and the aptitude of the Twitter workforce to implement and implement his new insurance policies. 

The Hill reached out to Twitter for remark. 

Since Musk took over Twitter in a $44 billion acquisition, he has enacted numerous efforts to advertise “free speech” on the platform, akin to eradicating the COVID-19 misinformation coverage, reducing key workers concerned in content material moderation, and re-platforming banned accounts.

Hate speech reportedly soared on Twitter the week after Musk’s buy in early November. Yoel Roth, then Twitter’s head of belief and security, stated on the time that the corporate had “lowered impressions” on hateful content material.

“We’ve not solely mitigated the current surge in dangerous habits, however have lowered impressions on this content material in Search by ~95% relative to even prior baseline ranges,” wrote Roth, who resigned from Twitter in November.