Three members of Twitters Trust and Safety Council have resigned, claiming that contrary to claims by Elon Musk, the safety and wellbeing of Twitter’s users are on the decline.
Eirliani Abdul Rahman, Anne Collier and Lesley Podesta, who helped oversee Twitter’s digital safety, blamed Musk’s ‘freedom of expression’ approach.
“The question has been on our minds: Should Musk be allowed to define digital safety as he has freedom of expression? Our answer is a categorical ‘no,'” they wrote in a letter posted on netfamilynews.org.
Rahman and Collier have been members of Twitter’s Trust & Safety Council since its inception in 2016.
“We fear a two-tiered Twitter: one for those who can pay and reap the benefits, and another one for those who cannot. This, we fear, will take away the credibility of the system and the beauty of Twitter,” they wrote.
Musk replied, saying “It is a crime that they refused to take action on child exploitation for years!” after a follower referenced a New York Post story on Twitter allegedly not removing child pornography from the site.
Rahman was the first female representative from Asia and had served on the Council’s Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Prevention advisory group.
“We know that, even after the resignations and dismissals of thousands of employees, there are people working at Twitter who care about reducing hate speech and protecting users on the platform,” they said.
“Despite a lack of acknowledgment on the part of Twitter’s new ownership, we would like to acknowledge the hard work of all members of its Trust and Safety Council over the past six years,” they added.
Rahman said that slurs against Black Americans and gay men have jumped 195 per cent and 58 per cent, respectively since Musk’s takeover.
“Antisemitic posts have soared more than 61 percent in the two weeks after Musk’s acquiring of Twitter. Another red line for me was when previously banned accounts such as those on the far right, and those who had incited others to violence, such as then US President Donald Trump’s, were reinstated,” she mentioned.