Elon Musk’s claim of decline in hate speech on Twitter falls flat

Soon after Elon Musk tweeted that Twitter has seen a decline in hateful speech on the platform, the company’s Head of Trust and Safety Yoel Roth, who has now quit, shared an insight on reducing hate speech on Twitter. However, just a day after Roth‘s claims, Center for Countering Digital Hate has said that it “saw an uptick in the amount of hateful language being tweeted.”
The British non-profit organisation says it analysed the data from the social media analytics tool Brandwatch, which also counted retweets and quote retweets in these figures. It found that in the week beginning October 31, there were:

  • 26,228 tweets and retweets mentioning the slur n**ger, triple the 2022 average
  • 33,926 tweets and retweets mentioning the slur tra**y, up 53% on the 2022 average
  • 21,903 tweets and retweets mentioning the slur fa**ot, up 39% on the 2022 average
  • 2,598 tweets and retweets mentioning the slur k*ke, up 23% on the 2022 average
  • 1,256 tweets and retweets mentioning the slur w*g, up 62% on the 2022 average
  • 935 tweets and retweets mentioning the slur sp*c, up 67% on the 2022 average

In October, a report by Network Contagion Research Institute also highlighted that the “use of N-word increased nearly 500 percent from the previous average” just 12 hours after Musk acquired Twitter.
In a tweet on November 9, Roth provided an update on Twitter’s efforts to combat hateful conduct. “We’ve not only mitigated the recent surge in harmful behaviour, but have reduced impressions on this content in Search by ~95% relative to even prior baseline levels,” he said.

His tweet came 5 days after Musk initially claimed that the platform has “actually seen hateful speech at times this week decline *below* our prior norms.” The Tesla CEO’s message was seen as a way to tell advertisers that Twitter was on its path to becoming “the most respected advertising platform in the world.”
Twitter hit all-time high of active users today, says Musk
Musk’s efforts to woo advertisers continue as the new Twitter boss has once again tweeted that the usage of the social media platform continues to rise. “Hit all-time high of active users today,” Musk claims in a tweet posted on Friday (October 11).
Musk has already confirmed a drop in revenue and blamed activist groups for pressuring advertisers to stop advertising with the company. He even claimed that nothing has been changed in terms of content moderation.
Stricter rule for impersonation
Musk has also made a new rule saying that accounts which are parody handles must include “parody” in their name, not just in bio. “To be more precise, accounts doing parody impersonations. Basically, tricking people is not ok,” Musk tweeted.

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