Woke Australian authorities threaten Elon Musk's Twitter over 'online hate' claims

Woke Australian authorities threaten Elon Musk's Twitter over 'online hate' claims
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Australian eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant has called upon Twitter to provide information about its measures to combat what they deem as 'online hate' citing a complaints received by her agency specifically regarding content on Twitter.

Grant expressed concern over the surge in harmful posts since Musk acquired the platform in October of the previous year.

Twitter has been given a 28-day deadline to comply with the "please explain" notice or risk daily fines amounting to almost $700,000. Grant emphasized her worries about anti-Semitic content, harmful posts targeting Indigenous Australians, and the LGBTIQ+ community.

She referenced research conducted by the Centre for Countering Digital Hate, which claims Twitter's 'repeated failure' to address harmful content posted by Twitter Blue accounts, the platform's subscription service.

The eSafety Commissioner voiced her observations on the changes that have occurred on Twitter since Musk's takeover, stating:

"Any long-time Twitter user has seen since Elon Musk took over the company in October of last year that their feed looks a lot different, looks a lot more toxic."

She further expressed concerns about Musk's decision to reinstate over 62,000 previously suspended or banned accounts, noting the negative impact it has had on the platform.

Grant firmly believes that allowing what she deems as 'targeted online abuse', especially towards 'marginalised communities', without enforcement suppresses freedom of expression.

As per Australian law, the eSafety Commissioner holds the authority to demand information regarding internal policies and procedures from companies.

The Commissioner criticised Twitter's reduction in staff, with reports suggesting a decrease from 8,000 to approximately 1,500 employees, asserting that it has contributed to a percieved decline in platform standards.

Grant emphasised the importance of trust and safety staff in combating 'toxicity and online hate', claiming that content moderation teams have been outsourced.

When the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) attempted to reach out to the platform using a previous media email address but received an automated response featuring the smiling poo emoji.

Earlier this year, the Office of the eSafety Commissioner issued similar notices to Twitter and other social media platforms, urging them to provide information about their efforts to combat child sexual abuse material on their platforms.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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