Home Technology Musk decimated Twitter’s moderation team. And he will no longer remove the fake news about the coronavirus

Musk decimated Twitter’s moderation team. And he will no longer remove the fake news about the coronavirus

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Musk decimated Twitter’s moderation team.  And he will no longer remove the fake news about the coronavirus

“Twitter is no longer enforcing the COVID-19 misleading information policy”, che in italiano significa che Twitter will no longer pursue the policy of countering disinformation on the coronavirus: it reads like this, on the page dedicated to the Transparency of the social network bought by Elon Musk on October 27th.

What does it mean? The site doesn’t say it specifically, but it’s easy to understand that it will stop doing what has been done so far, i.e. labeling as fake or even remove tweets that contain misinformation about Covid-19.

Why does this happen? Mainly for two reasons, the second more significant than the first: because Musk himself immediately said he was a strong supporter of freedom of speech, more or less at any cost; because the moderation team was among the hardest hit by the new owner’s licensing frenzy, with some departments (such as the one that must fight against child pornography) in which only one person would remain.

In short: Twitter will no longer remove fake news on the coronavirus, not so much to give everyone the opportunity to express their opinion, but simply because it can’t.

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Again, no one from Twitter says it officially but it is understood quite well that it is so: the same notice on the cessation of moderation activities seems hastily put on a page that has remained practically the samedove basta scorrere poche righe per leggere che “we continue to prioritize removing or annotating potentially harmful and misleading information to ensure that users can readily find credible information”, cioè “continuiamo a prioritize the removal or reporting of potentially harmful and misleading informationto ensure that users can find credible information promptly. ” Which, however, the site has now stopped doing.

Since these practices had been introduced, in January 2020, the Twitter moderator team has contested the tweets of 11.7 million accounts, suspended over 11,000 and removed nearly 98,000 content; in the month of September 2022 alone (the last on which we have information), the platform contested the tweets of 520 accounts, suspended 173 and removed over 600 contents.

This decision, in fact combined with that of firing a large part of the employees who dealt with content management and with that of grant a kind of “amnesty” (as Musk himself called it) to accounts banned for violating the rules, risks becoming a dangerous boomerang for Twitter, already grappling with problems related to decrease in advertising investments by companies.

It remains to be seen how the site will be able to handle the return of these 62 thousand potentially dangerous accountseach with over 10k followers, 75 with over a million followers, and one worth 5 million (here the details on the numbers). And even if in his “amnesty”, Musk also intends to include the over 11,000 accounts responsible for disinformation about the pandemic.

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