The liberal meltdown over entrepreneur Elon’s Musk’s acquisition of Twitter has once again spilled into the hallways of the social media giant. Disgruntled employees are up in arms over their new boss’ moves to rein in censorship and get clarity on the platform’s content rules.
Bloomberg reports that part of Musk’s limited reworking of Twitter is blocking some employee access to tools used for content moderation.
This has riled the rank and file ahead of the November midterms.
Workers said that the majority of the company’s Trust and Safety organization is now unable to take action on accounts that break current rules on “misleading information, offensive posts, and hate speech.”
The most egregious postings that may involve actual harm in the real world are still able to be changed or taken down by manual enforcement.
Twitter’s head of safety and integrity, Yoel Roth, explained in a tweet that the current situation “is exactly what we (or any company) should be doing” during a transition period.
Twitter’s chief of safety and integrity confirms report that the company froze some employee access to internal tools used for content moderation after Elon Musk took over. https://t.co/m9OZAa5Wun
— NBC News (@NBCNews) November 1, 2022
He assured those concerned that Twitter is still enforcing its rules but must also “reduce opportunities for insider risk.”
Shortly after the $44 billion acquisition was finalized on Oct. 27, restrictions were put in place to keep employees from making changes to the app while the new leadership takes charge. This logical step and Roth’s explanation hardly satisfied some of the workforce.
Those directly dealing with content moderation complained that the company is “short-handed” heading into the midterm election on Nov. 8. Others even cited worries that the move opens the gates for foreign bad actors to influence the results.
Musk has not made content moderation changes to the platform, though employees say he has shown interest in some specific areas. One is Twitter’s general misinformation policy, which the new owner wants to be laid out more specifically.
He also asked the moderation team to review a section of the “hateful conduct policy” that deals with penalizing users for “targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.”
These are reasonable concerns from a reasonable leader, far from the social media apocalypse some workers believe has beset the company. Seeking a clear guiding policy on something as important as free speech only makes sense, though censorship advocates will certainly disagree.