Twitter’s ambitious plan to tackle extremism on its platform went for a toss when Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced to buy it, and in months after that, the health research team has disappeared, from 15 employees to just two, the media reported.
Twitter had partnered with Moonshot, a company that analyses violent extremists, to begin a project called ‘Redirect’ to curb the spread of harmful content on its platform.
According to The Verge, “the goal was to move the company from simply reacting to bad accounts and posts to proactively guiding users toward better behaviour”.
However, before the project could see the light of the day, Musk in April announced to buy the company for $44 billion, and all hell broke loose.
“Shortly afterward, employees who’d been leading the Moonshot partnership left. And in the months since Musk signed the deal, the health research team has all but evaporated, going from 15 staffers to just two,” the report said late on Friday.
The project sought to understand and address user behaviours.
“Instead of focusing on designating bad accounts or content, we seek to understand how users find harmful group content in accounts and then to redirect those efforts,” read an internal document.
Multiple former researchers told The Verge that the turmoil associated with Musk’s bid to purchase the company “was a breaking point and led them to decide to pursue other work”.
Some employees who remained were allegedly told to “deprioritise Redirect in favour of projects related to bots and spam”, as Musk wanted to know the exact number of spam accounts on the platform.
Twitter was yet to react to the report.
Another The Verge report claimed this week that Twitter planned to monetise adult content on its platform this year, by allowing adult creators to sell subscriptions on the micro-blogging platform, and become profitable in a jiffy.