Musk personally led call with civil rights groups to address hate speech on Twitter

Seven civil rights and coverage teams have been on the decision with the tech billionaire, who dealt with the assembly solo, apparently with out further workers becoming a member of him. The gathering was a part of Musk’s effort to arrange a “content material moderation council,” which might presumably police customers and content material on the platform — and assist ease considerations from fearful advertisers.

Musk said Tuesday night that he needed his council to “embody representatives with broadly divergent views, which will definitely embody the civil rights group and teams who face hate-fueled violence.”

Twitter has acknowledged a surge in hateful content within the days since Musk took over. And whereas Musk himself has mentioned he didn’t need the positioning to grow to be a “hellscape,” a tweet from his account on Sunday that forwarded a false story about Paul Pelosi has stirred controversy and led some advertisers to consider pausing their enterprise dealings with Twitter.

A number of the members on Tuesday’s name stay cautious of Musk. “We’re cautiously optimistic, however extra essential than anything, it’s the consequence: Will the safeguards be in place for this election cycle that have been already in place and might they be enhanced?” mentioned NAACP President Derrick Johnson, who participated within the name.

Jessica Gonzalez, co-CEO of media advocacy group Free Press, mentioned she’s going to attend and see if Musk — who’s recognized to alter path rapidly — will keep the course. “These are phrases and we’ll maintain him accountable primarily based on his actions, not on his phrases,” she mentioned.

Participants on the Zoom call included Free Press, the Anti-Defamation League, the Asian American Basis, Coloration Of Change, the George W. Bush Presidential Middle, the NAACP and the previous CEO of LULAC, a nonprofit representing Hispanic communities within the U.S.

Free Press, ADL, Coloration Of Change, the NAACP and LULAC are members of the Cease Hate for Revenue coalition, which goals to carry social media firms accountable for hate speech on their websites.

With midterms lower than per week away, the teams harassed the significance of protecting current safeguards to stop election misinformation. “We requested that they preserve and implement the election integrity measures that Twitter had in place when he bought there,” Gonzalez mentioned.

Focusing previous the midterms

Yael Eisenstat, head of the Anti-Defamation League’s Middle for Expertise and Society — who was on the decision — mentioned it got here collectively inside 24 hours, after Musk reached out to ADL president Jonathan Greenblatt who’s a pacesetter within the Cease Hate for Revenue coalition.

Eisenstat urged the world’s richest man to develop Twitter’s content material insurance policies — significantly these associated to elections — to transcend the Nov. 8 midterms, warning that election-denying rhetoric doesn’t go away after the polls shut.

“Following an election generally is a essential interval and a harmful interval,” she mentioned. “We wish these insurance policies to not simply be in impact, but in addition to truly be resourced and enforced.”

She mentioned Musk declined to share how lengthy the corporate’s election misinformation insurance policies will likely be in place after the elections finish.

Little readability on moderation council

Musk additionally mentioned his thought of making a “council” to assessment content material and insurance policies associated to probably dangerous materials, however he didn’t lay out any particular subsequent steps.

Nonetheless, the teams reminded Musk that any such group ought to embody those that are focused with hate-filled on-line language.

NAACP’s Johnson mentioned he was skeptical {that a} council could possibly be efficient.

“The query for us is what sort of true authority would this council have, what sort of true enter it might have and whether or not or not this council will likely be able inside the establishment to truly add their voice to guard individuals and to guard communities,” Johnson mentioned. “That’s nonetheless excellent.”

Nonetheless, LULAC — the oldest Hispanic advocacy group within the nation — mentioned that the group’s former CEO Sindy Benavides, who participated within the name, didn’t symbolize LULAC, as she was terminated from her position on Oct. 22. LULAC was not really represented within the assembly, David Cruz, the group’s communications director mentioned.

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