- Tweets containing abusive, anti-Semitic and racist content have skyrocketed since Elon Musk took over.
- Federal officials have warned that Twitter posts will lead to real acts of violence.
- musk Expectations The total number of views of tweets containing hate speech has gone down.
Despite Elon Musk’s insistence to the contrary, researchers have found that anti-Semitic and racist slurs on Twitter have skyrocketed since it took over – with experts warning the hateful rhetoric will lead to real acts of violence.
In the weeks since Musk completed his $44 billion acquisition of the social media platform, researchers from the Center for Countering Digital Hate, the Anti-Defamation League and other groups have scoured posts calling for slurs and white nationalist, racist, anti-Semitic or far-right content found increased, while Twitter removed less content and took longer to review it.
The Center for Countering Digital Hate found in the week immediately following Musk’s acquisition that use of the N-word tripled from the 2022 average, anti-LGBTQ slurs between 39% and 53%, and anti-Semitic slurs increased by 22%. The New York Times reported that anti-Semitic posts related to Jews or Judaism skyrocketed more than 61 percent in the first two weeks, while accounts supporting ISIS were roared back.
“The idea that there’s a difference between online gossip and real-world harm is belied by a decade of research,” Juliette Kayyem, a national security expert and former DHS assistant secretary, told the Washington Post, adding that Musks The current approach to opening up is that content on Twitter “resocializes the hatred and liberates society from the shame that should be taking place in relation to anti-Semitism,” she said.
Musk has claimed that hate speech impressions — the number of times content is viewed — are declining overall a graph on Friday demonstrating the downtrend and saying “Hate speech impressions account for <0.1% of what is seen on Twitter."
The billionaire owner of Twitter, a self-proclaimed “free speech absolutist” who has protested against widespread content moderation and restored the accounts of several users who were initially banned for hate speech, has not disclosed internal metrics used to determine , which posts are classified as hate speech or the total number of hate speech impressions before or after its adoption.
Yoel Roth, Twitter’s former head of trust and safety, acknowledged the “surge” of hateful posts last month in a tweetbut also said the company is successfully taking steps to narrow its reach.
Musk and Twitter officials did not immediately respond to insiders’ requests for comment.
The rise of anti-Semitic content is of particular concern among experts given the high profile of anti-Jewish posts by celebrities like Kanye West, who was kicked off the platform again this month after violating the platform’s rules against incitement to violence.
“That kind of escalation and hate and dehumanization, the hatred of the Jewish population — it’s a really targeted target. Violence is inevitable,” reported The Washington Post, Denver Riggleman, a former Air Force intelligence officer and Republican member of Congress, said.
The Department of Homeland Security late last month released a statement on current domestic terrorism threats in the United States, highlighting the “continued threat to religious communities, including the Jewish community,” and citing an incident last month in which an 18 -Year-old arrested after making online threats against a synagogue.
Researchers have consistently found that online rhetoric feeds behavior in the real world, with online hate speech being linked to increasing violence against minorities, “including mass shootings, lynchings and ethnic cleansing,” according to the non-partisan think tank Council for Foreign Relations.
“Whether it’s the individual or the group dynamic, they feed on this crap and this hate — that’s why content moderation was created in the first place,” reported the Washington Post, Kayyem said. “Content moderation was not invented because they wanted everyone to be nice, but because of the recognition that these types of attitudes, when encouraged in society, lead to violent behavior.”