Elon Musk has claimed that hate speech “imprint” has fallen by a third since the site arrived.
In the days after Mr Musk became Twitter’s owner and chief executive, it saw a huge increase in the amount of hate speech being posted on the site. Many users gleefully took advantage of Mr Musk’s commitment to undermine content moderation by posting racial slurs and other offensive material.
This means that the number of people seeing hate speech has increased dramatically. Twitter reported a “spike” in such hate speech that lasted for days.
Mr Musk said that now, however, the hate speech impressions are down from the number before he took over the site.
The focus on impressions appears to be part of Mr Musk’s commitment to allowing “freedom of expression, but not freedom of access”. In several posts, he has suggested that he would look not to remove problematic tweets but to reduce the number of people who see them.
As such, Mr. Musk gave no indication that the amount of hate speech being posted has decreased, only how many times it has been viewed.
Otherwise, he gave little indication of how the numbers were gathered. In a reply, he indicated that the graph showed posts that included “bad words” and suggested that he was shocked by the contents of the list of words that are not allowed to be posted on the site.
He also suggested that the spike was caused by only “1500 accounts”, and that some of the reduction in impressions was achieved by reducing the maximum number of tweets that could be posted by an account.
Mr Musk’s previous claims about a reduction in hate speech on the platform have been questioned by experts. Earlier this month, Mr Musk said hate speech had fallen “below our prior norms” – but the Center for Countering Digital Hate watchdog said there had been an increase in the number of posts including racial slurs and other problematic words.
When Mr Musk previously posted that the amount of hate speech had dropped on November 4 – after his first week of ownership of the site – The group found that N-word use was three times the average by 2022, for example,
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