It seems as though Elon Musk is more interested in suing the groups that bring neo-Nazi content on Twitter to his attention than in removing the offensive posts.
Listen To This Story
It sure seems as though Elon Musk is more interested in suing the groups that bring neo-Nazi content on Twitter (or “X,” as he renamed it on a whim because it’s his favorite letter) to his attention than in removing the offensive posts.
This week, for example, the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) published a new report showing that the platform did not remove most of the content that was flagged as containing “extreme hate speech.”
The group had identified a total of 300 posts that promoted hate and reported them to Twitter/X at the end of August. Then, a week later, it had checked whether the content had been removed and whether something had happened to the users who posted it.
In the vast majority of cases (86 percent), nothing happened.
“X continued to host these posts even after they were reported, despite them clearly violating the platform’s policies against hateful content, which prohibit racist slurs, dehumanization, and hateful imagery such as the Nazi swastika,” the report stated.
It is important to note that many of the posts that CCDH reported were certainly not borderline hate speech or somehow ambiguous in their meaning. For example, there were more than a dozen posts denying the Holocaust or trivializing it or its victims.
However, we made the decision not to amplify the message of this hateful content by screenshotting them. Those inclined to view the posts for themselves can click on the link above.
In a statement preempting the release of the report, Twitter/X said its goal is to “protect free expression and simultaneously keep our platform safe for users.”
However, that statement also indicated that the company is not necessarily removing hate speech such as that flagged by CCDH.
“We either remove content that violates our policies or label and restrict the reach of certain posts,” Twitter/X said. “By restricting the reach of a post, we significantly reduce the number of times a piece of content is seen to protect our users.”
While Musk and new Twitter/X CEO Linda Yaccarino maintain that their platform is now “safer,” anti-hate groups feel differently.
However, instead of working together with these organizations to live up to his promises, Musk is choosing a different strategy: Suing the messenger.
Last month, he filed a lawsuit against CCDH that alleges the group is “actively working to prevent free expression.”
CCDH is not the only organization that has incurred the wrath of the right-wing billionaire.
Like many of the users of his website, Musk is resorting to a time-tested strategy for his own failings: Blame the Jews.
In this case, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which he claimed is responsible for him running Twitter/X into the ground somehow.
“Since the acquisition, the ADL has been trying to kill this platform by falsely accusing it & me of being anti-Semitic,” Musk tweeted earlier this month without providing evidence. “Our US advertising revenue is still down 60%, primarily due to pressure on advertisers by ADL (that’s what advertisers tell us), so they almost succeeded in killing X/Twitter!”
He then suggested that he would sue the ADL to the tune of $22 billion, which is half the amount he paid for the platform last year.
However, also true to form, he has not yet followed through on his threat… perhaps because the discovery in such a lawsuit might require him to be as transparent as he often claims to be.