No one disagrees with Elon Musk on the success of Twitter moderation
Elon Musk welcomed the success of his moderation policy in early December. But, many signs contradict this assertion.
The hate is back on Twitter. Or, more precisely, he expressed himself there more easily than before. This is the conclusion of the work carried out in the United States, and which the New York Times echoed on December 2, 2022. A conclusion against which Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter, rebelled, calling him” completely wrong ».
Observations made by several organizations, since the acquisition of the social network of the American businessman, emphasize a sharp increase in anti-Semitic messages (jumping more than 60% two weeks after the acquisition of Twitter) . As for homophobic content, their daily appearance has increased by more than 58%.
Even in the field of counter-terrorism, studies suggest a very clear relaxation of the community site. In the first twelve days after Elon Musk took office, 450 accounts were found to be controlled by the Islamic State organization. This is up 69% compared to the previous twelve days.
These various analyzes were provided by the Center for Countering Digital Hate, the Anti-Defamation League and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue. ” Elon Musk has sent a Bat Signal to all the racists, misogynists and homophobes who access Twitter. They reacted “Imran Ahmed, the head of the Center for Countering Digital Hate commented.
Elon Musk is happy with his Twitter moderation policy
The rise of taboo speech is also favored by Elon Musk’s policy. He found it appropriate to pardon a large number of banned accounts, based on an online survey — instead of using the moderation board he promised to put in place. More than 12,000 profiles were reactivated, including neo-Nazis and anti-Semites.
The same day the New York Times article was published, Elon Musk released his own results, suggesting its decisive moderating effect. In a graph from October 17 to November 30, 2022, the display of hateful content, after a spectacular peak, has dropped to a lower threshold than previously observed.
” The number of hate speech impressions (number of times the tweet was seen) continues to decrease, despite a significant increase in the number of users! […] Freedom of expression does not mean freedom of access. Negativity should be and is less attainable than positivity “, he said. According to him, the hateful content is heavy less than 0.1% of total impressions. It is surprising, however, that as the amount of hateful content increases, impressions of this speech decrease. Elon Musk did not provide further details.
The limits of Elon Musk’s approach are evident in the sequence surrounding rapper Kanye West. He delivered some anti-Semitic messages, which forced Elon Musk to quit, even though he presented himself a few months ago as an “absolutist of freedom of expression”. This is not the first time the singer has been ejected from the platform.
Twitter was less quick to respond to the reports
The shortcomings of Twitter moderation is also highlighted from the side of the European Commission. If Brussels noticed a general decrease in mobilization on platforms that signed the EU Code of Conduct (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc.), Twitter the ” recording the biggest drop in a year “.
As part of this code of good conduct, platforms are required to process reports of hate messages within 24 hours. In 2020, partner sites were able to process 90.4% of notifications on time. This statistic drops to 81% in 2021 and 64.4% in 2022. Only TikTok remains on a positive curve.
The collapse of Twitter moderation is partly caused by a sharp decline in the social network’s ability to have enough staff to handle reports. In mid-November, we learned that contracts with thousands of providers had been terminated, depriving the platform of several thousand moderators.
On November 30, however, Twitter made a very different speech: its team promises to continue ” his diligent work to protect the platform from hateful behavior, abuse and any violation of Twitter rules. The team remains strong and well-resourced “. However, it was also specified that the service will increasingly rely on automatic detection to manage moderation. Obviously, the results are not there yet.