Hate speech floods Twitter after Musk takeover

twitter hate speech musk

Research released Friday by separate watchdog groups indicates a rapid increase in hate speech on Twitter. Hate speech has surged on the platform under the ownership of Elon Musk.

The Center for Countering Digital Hate said under Musk, the daily use of the n-word tripled the 2022 average. The use of slurs against gay men rose by 58% and against transgender people by 62%.

In a separate report, the Anti-Defamation League said data reveals ‘an increase in antisemitic content on the platform and a decrease in the moderation of antisemitic posts’.

The two reports come after Elon Musk claimed last month that ‘hate speech impressions’ fell dramatically following his takeover.

On Friday, Musk tweeted ‘utterfly false’ in response to a New York Times article about the research. He posted later, “There are about 500M tweets per day & billions of impressions, so hate speech impressions are <0.1% of what’s seen on Twitter!”

Batsignal to every kind of racist, misogynist and homophobe

However, the chief executive of the Center for Countering Digital Hate disagreed. Imrad Ahmed said Musk’s comments about rolling back content moderation policies triggered the increase. He said Musk had “sent up the bat-signal to every kind of racist, misogynist, and homophobe that Twitter was open for business, and they have react accordingly.

“A safe space for hate is a hostile environment to most decent folks. By means of comparison, who would want to sit in a cafe or pub where crazies are screaming expletives and bigotry, let alone have the chutzpah to claim that it was democratically-essential debate?”

After taking over Twitter, Musk said he only wanted speech prohibited when it incites violence or violates the law. He also plans a ‘general amnesty’ for users previously banned over violating Twitter rules.

However the multi-billionaire did promise that going forward, Twitter will share its data on hate speech impressions on a weekly basis.

Read also: Twitter’s ban on ‘groomer’ as a queer slur.

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Destiny Rogers

Destiny Rogers embarked on her career in the media industry immediately after high school, initially joining Mirror News, which later evolved into News Ltd. She fondly recalls editing Ian Byford's 'Passing Glances: A History of Gay Cairns' as one of her most fulfilling projects. Additionally, Destiny co-researched and co-wrote 'The Queen's Ball', chronicling the history of the world's longest-running continuous queer event. Her investigative work on the history of Australia's COON Cheese and Edward Coon culminated in the publication 'COON: More Holes than Swiss Cheese', a collaborative effort with Dr. Stephen Hagan. Destiny's journey at QNews began as a feature writer, and she was subsequently elevated to the role of Managing Editor of QNews Magazine in 2018. However, in July 2022, she decided to resign from this role to refocus on research and feature writing. For contact, please reach out at destinyr@qnews.com.au.

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