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Democrats call on Musk to target hate speech on Twitter

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Two House Democrats have referred to 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 “extreme spike” within the variety of tweets with slurs, and engagement with these tweets, because the billionaire took over the social media app.

The letter cited information from the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) exhibiting that the variety of tweets containing slurs has grown exponentially compared to the 2022 common. 

“Slurs against Black people have tripled in daily mentions. Slurs against women have increased 33 percent from the 2022 average mentions, and slurs against gay men have increased by 58 percent,” the letter mentioned.

“Before you assumed the role of CEO, engagement with these tweets averaged 13.3 replies, retweets, or likes. Now, engagement with slurs has increased 273 percent, with the average number 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 find the rise of extremist actors and hate speech on Twitter demonstrably at odds with your company’s statement that human safety is a top priority,” they wrote.

The lawmakers posed a collection of questions to the Twitter proprietor about his plans for content material moderation and the potential 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 varied efforts to promote “free speech” on the platform, reminiscent of eradicating the COVID-19 misinformation coverage, chopping 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, said on the time that the corporate had “reduced impressions” on hateful content material.

“We’ve not only mitigated the recent surge in harmful behavior, but have reduced impressions on this content in Search by ~95% relative to even prior baseline levels,” wrote Roth, who resigned from Twitter in November.

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