Three members of Twitter’s Trust and Safety Board have resigned

  • Three members of Twitter’s Trust and Safety Board resigned this week.
  • Under Musk’s ownership, Twitter has seen a sharp increase in hate speech, two watchdog groups have found.
  • “Contrary to Elon Musk’s claims, the safety and well-being of Twitter users is in decline,” the three departing members said in a statement.

Twitter’s departures continue, with three members of its Trust and Safety Board becoming the latest to leave.

Created in 2016, Twitter’s Trust and Security Council is made up of several dozen people and independent organizations that govern Twitter. he says Help “advocate for security and advise us as we develop our products, programs and policies.” Departing members are Anne Collier, founder and executive director of The Net Safety Collaborative; Eirliani Abdul Rahman, co-founder of Youth, Adult Survivors & Kin In Need (YAKIN); and Lesley Podesta, consultant, Center for Youth and Sustainability Studies, University of Western Sydney.

“We are announcing our resignation from Twitter’s Trust and Safety Board because it is clear from research evidence that, contrary to Elon Musk’s claims, the safety and well-being of Twitter users is being compromised,” they wrote. press release Shared by Collier on Thursday.

They cite research by two watchdogs, the Center to Fight Digital Hate and the Anti-Defamation League, which recently reported a spike in hate speech on Twitter, including slurs against black and gay men, as well as anti-Semitic posts. Since Musk bought the platform.

“The question begs our minds: Should Musk be allowed to define digital security because he has freedom of expression? Our answer is a resounding no,” the board members’ release continued. “Dicta-driven Twitter is not the place for us.”

Musk has called himself a “free speech absolutist,” which experts and advocates say could weaken Twitter’s ability to effectively fight hate speech, misinformation and harassment.

According to Collier, after Musk took office, Council members were “confused by the lack of communication.” He adds that a number of changes Musk has made since taking office, including the company cutting outsourced content moderator positions, have raised alarm over security at Twitter. Ella Irwin, Twitter’s new head of trust and security, told Reuters earlier this week that the company has gotten rid of some manual reviews for content moderation by relying more on automation.

“You really need a human perspective on a lot of abuse reports because they can be very nuanced and highly contextual to offline life, and platforms don’t really have that context,” Collier said. “So it’s very difficult for machine learning algorithms to detect all of them or make decisions about all of them.”

Of course, there’s also Musk’s new Twitter Blue subscription model, which lets people get verified on the platform for $8 a month. Previously, Twitter verified the identity of users before blue-tapping them.

“Verification on Twitter was supposed to be about credibility and accountability, and that’s not something you can usually buy. So if you just let people buy verification or credibility, you’re not going to have any credibility,” Collier said. “So if someone sees a little blue checkmark or any kind of confirmation icon, the user doesn’t know what that means and can’t rely on it.”

Collier told Insider that he would consider returning to the board if Musk-owned Twitter increased its commitment to security on the platform. But for now, Abdul Rahman and Podesta believe the oath was violated, echoing the release.

Abdul Rahman said in a statement: “I watched with concern the talks about Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter. “I wrote some commitments to myself at the time. I told myself that if Musk exceeded these limits, I would resign. Those red lines were crossed.”

In a statement to Insider, Podesta said, “The safety and protection of all users has always been a top priority. Being on policy has always been critical—it means everyone knows how to evaluate moderation decisions. That careful process seems to have broken down. Now. In recent months I am saddened to see the rise of racist, violent and hate speech.

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