According to an investigation by the Center to Counter Digital Hate (CCDH), which collects The New York Times, hate speech has grown on Twitter since Elon Musk took over. Curiously, the aforementioned had mentioned that these types of publications decreased under his management. Of course, he did not present any hard evidence to support him beyond a simple graph.
By late October, evidence had already emerged that hate speech has increased on Twitter in recent weeks. The tycoon had anticipated that, under his direction, the social network would carry the flag of the freedom of expression. Well, what he understands as “freedom of expression.” Obviously, many users are taking advantage of the fact that moderation now ignores comments that in the past were penalized the vast majority of the time.
According to the report of the aforementioned association, before Elon Musk managed Twitter, a daily average of 1,282 was registered. racist tweets against blacks. However, that number increased to 3,876 after the arrival of Musk.
A curious fact, and which totally contrasts with what was reported by Elon Musk, is that during the week in which he reported the supposed drop in hate speech, the daily average of racist tweets rose to 4,650.
Be careful, at the moment we are only talking about publications classified as racism. Hate speech encompasses many other types of reprehensible comments.
For example, the daily tweets against the gay community rose from 2,506 to 3,964, while insults towards transgender people they went from 1,282 to 3,876. Finally, the tweets antisemites they have grown 61% since Musk became CEO of Twitter.
“Elon Musk sent the Bat-Signal to all kinds of racists, misogynists and homophobes that Twitter was open for their comments,” said Imran Ahmed, director of CCHR. Clearly, these people wasted no time in feeling “free” to spread their nasty messages via Twitter.
Elon Musk backfired
Elon Musk, perhaps, did not foresee that his vision of Twitter would quickly take its toll on him. As soon as he took over the leadership of the company and the hate speech increased, a good number of advertisers left the platform. Some of them without giving any explanation, while others expressed their concern for the future of Twitter when it comes to content moderation.
Thanks to Elon Musk himself, we learned that the most important advertiser on Twitter, Apple, stopped its advertising campaigns on the social network for the same reasons. The tycoon, in fact, started a crusade against the Cupertino company. It involved additional issues such as the 30% commission from the App Store, and a false rumor about the possibility of Twitter being removed from the store. He apparently settled with a meeting with Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.
The departure of advertisers, of course, is a blow to Twitter’s revenue. Let’s remember that advertising is its main source of revenue, and Elon Musk’s controversial decisions are not favoring this business in any way.
In the end, it seems that Elon Musk himself has realized that his “free speech” is hurting Twitter greatly. At least in the economic sphere… A few hours ago he had Kanye West’s account suspended for inciting violence. Before disappearing, yes, he shared a shirtless image of Musk; probably as a mockery attempt.
The issue here is that many other profiles, with much less exposure than the rapper, have been violating Twitter’s policy for days. However, they are not penalized.