Elon Musk’s Twitter disbands its Trust and Safety advisory group

Elon Musk’s Twitter has disbanded its Trust and Safety Council, the advisory group of some 100 independent civil, human rights and other organizations the company founded in 2016 to address hate speech, child exploitation, suicide, self-harm and other issues on the platform .

The council was due to meet with Twitter officials on Monday evening. However, according to several members, Twitter informed the group via email that it would be disbanded shortly before the meeting.

The council members, who provided images of the email to The Associated Press from Twitter, spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation. The email said Twitter was “re-evaluating how best to bring in outside insights” and that the council was “not the best structure to do so.”

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“Our work to make Twitter a safe, informative place will progress faster and more aggressively than ever before, and we continue to welcome your ideas on how we can achieve that goal,” read the “Twitter” signed E -Mail.

The volunteer group provided expertise and guidance on how Twitter could better address hate, harassment and other harm, but had no decision-making authority and did not review specific content disputes. Shortly after buying Twitter for $44 billion in late October, Musk said he would create a new “Content Moderation Council” to make key decisions, but later changed his mind.

“Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council was a group of volunteers who gave up their time over many years when consulted by Twitter employees for advice on a variety of online harm and safety issues,” Council member Alex Holmes tweeted. “At no point was it a governing body or decision making.”

San Francisco-based Twitter confirmed the meeting with the council in an email Thursday, saying it had a “frank discussion and Q&A” with Twitter employees, including new Trust and Safety Director Ella Irwin.

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This came on the same day that three council members announced their resignations in a public statement posted on Twitter, which said that “contrary to what Elon Musk claims, the safety and well-being of Twitter users is on the decline.”

These former council members soon became the target of online attacks after Musk ramped up criticism of them and Twitter’s former leadership for allegedly not doing enough to stop child sexual exploitation on the platform.

“It is a crime that for years they have refused to take action against child exploitation!” Musk tweeted.

A growing number of attacks on the council prompted concerns from some remaining members, who emailed Twitter on Monday demanding that the company stop misrepresenting the council’s role.

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These false accusations by Twitter executives “put current and former council members at risk,” the email said.

The Trust and Safety Council actually had one of their advisory groups focused on child exploitation. This included the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, the Rati Foundation and YAKIN or Youth Adult Survivors & relatives in need.

Former Twitter contributor Patricia Cartes, whose job it was to form the council in 2016, said Monday that its dissolution “means there are no more checks and balances.” Cartes said the company tried to provide the council with a global outlook, with experts from around the world who could raise concerns about how new Twitter policies or products might impact their communities.

She contrasted this with Musk’s current practice of polling his Twitter followers before making a policy change that affects how content is moderated. “He doesn’t care that much what experts think,” she said.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

https://6abc.com/twitter-trust-and-safety-council-elon-disbands-musk-hate-speech/12564263/ Elon Musk’s Twitter disbands its Trust and Safety advisory group

Alley Einstein

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