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Monday, December 05, 2022

Elections in the US, test the answers to the questions Musk promotes on Twitter

Elon Musk. / Photo: Twitter.

Next Tuesday’s midterm election in the United States is the first litmus test for the new era of Twitter, now under the command of billionaire Elon Musk, though experts cautioned Tellum that content moderation, verified accounts and mass layoffs have been announced. Parivartan employees anticipate an increase in propaganda, hate speech and political polarization.

The world’s richest man bought the social network for $44,000 million, and since he took control of it on October 27, he’s accelerated with his self-proclaimed “autocratic vision of freedom of expression,” which on paper means a moderation less strict material

Among other consequences, this has already encouraged the cataract spread of racist, anti-feminist and anti-Semitic tweets, according to The Washington Post, and reappearance in the case of extreme right-wing groups such as Britain First, which Previously banned from social. According to The Guardian, the network and since its new account published a series of videos against immigration in the United Kingdom.

,Within hours of Musk taking over the reins, the platform was flooded with obscene references and memes, including racist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, homophobic and transphobic hate speech., Unless Twitter reins in this hateful rhetoric, it will spread further and further. And it won’t end well.” Eddie Perez, a board member of the OSET Institute, a California-based organization that works to improve trust in electoral technology, told Tellum.

Perez, Twitter’s former product director, said the situation “could increase polarization and malice a few days before the midterm election” that would define the composition of Congress and more than thirty state governors, and he warned about the consequences. Gave. on the same day of the election.

“An important part of Twitter’s civil integrity policy is to prevent the spread of false information that could affect voter turnout, for example, about voting times and locations, how to vote, etc. Musk to Company employees. is biting, which means that it may not have enough hands to implement this policy.”

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Nearly 50% of the platform’s 7,500 employees were laid off on FridayIncluding key members of teams working on human rights, access and content moderation, US media reported.

Civil rights organizations also expressed concerns about the possibility of the social network restoring blocked accounts, including former US President Donald Trump, who was expelled shortly after the January 6, 2021 attack by his supporters on Capitol Hill.

,A critical test of Musk’s influence will be whether Twitter reinstates some of its most notorious advocates of election lies and allows misinformation to spread during the post-election period.Perez, referring to the transcendental role of social networks in broadcasting never-proven allegations of fraud by the Republican tycoon and his followers after the 2020 presidential elections.

,Musk said he wants to make Twitter a “warm and responsive” platform for everyone, while planning to reinstate accounts banned for repeated violations of the rules., There is a strong contradiction between having a receptive environment and not controlling harmful propaganda and hate speech.” Filippo Menzer, professor of information science and computer science at Indiana University (United States) and director of the Social Media Observatory, gave his opinion to the agency.

,There is no such thing as complete freedom of expression: as networks of accounts flood (including the unverified), freedom of expression is taken away from others, That’s why we need a deeper discussion about what freedom of expression means in a world where platforms enable viral spread and can be manipulated.”

Musk’s transformation

Changes that Musk anticipates for the social network include creating a Content Moderation Council made up of representatives with very different opinions, as well as waiting a few weeks before reauthorizing banned accounts like Trump’s. . These promises did not quell criticisms of social organizations.

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In addition, the platform’s mobile application has already begun offering an update that will allow users to register for a new version of Twitter Blue, which Musk announced will cost $8 a month and will provide a blue sign. which marks an account as verified.

“This will not only create a caste system of sorts, which will amplify the voices of those who do not pay, but it will also create a conducive environment for identity theft and harassment, which will amplify the voices of the authorities. Truth and Logic Chaos and malicious actors for the loss of voices,” Perez lamented.

Given this context, More than 40 civil society organizations published a letter this week urging large companies to stop advertising on Twitter if “Musk continues to undermine user security.”, Large firms such as General Motors and Volkswagen have already suspended their ads on the platform.

,Racists and conspiracy theorists are testing how far they can go with spreading lies, harassment and abuse, and whether misinformation about midterm elections is dishonestJessica J. Gonzalez, co-CEO of Free Press, an NGO that promotes democratizing access to media and technology platforms, wrote in that letter.

The plan to make content moderation more flexible also caused a reaction from the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk, who urged Musk to make respect for human rights a central theme of the social network.

“Twitter has a responsibility to avoid promoting content that could harm people’s rights,” Turk said in an open letter.

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