October 3, 2022
Chicago 12, Melborne City, USA

Twitter Insiders Fear Elon Musk Heralds a Troll Takeover


John Bell, a designer who previously worked on Twitter’s anti-abuse team, said it would be a mistake to weaken Twitter’s control. He said outsiders, including Bell, often do not understand how much work needs to be done to prevent the site from being hacked by toxic content before joining the company. Although Twitter has been criticized for not doing enough to prevent abuse and harassment, it has created tools and processes that significantly reduce volume, Bell said. “The mask will undo what it says.”

In 2016, Twitter established a Council of Independent Organizations To give advice on online security. Alex Holmes, deputy CEO of the UK nonprofit Diana Awards, who is a member of the council, said he was now unsure how to continue the work. “Understandably, there are concerns about how this will be possible if freedom of speech is prioritized to a detrimental level,” he said. Holmes says he has heard similar concerns from Twitter staff.

Sarah Kate Ellis, CEO and President of GLAAD, a nonprofit that promotes LGBTQ rights and is on Twitter’s advisory council, Tweeted Monday The ownership of that mask made him “nervous for the online security of the LGBTQ community”

It would be “stupid” to believe that Mask would stand up for women and target others on the platform, said Brianna Woo, a game developer and software engineer who contacted Twitter’s trust and safety team until 2020, after being abused this time. An online harassment campaign known as Gamergate in 2014.

After Twitter took action against its trolls, U began documenting harassment on the platform, especially against women and members of marginalized communities, for sharing with Twitter.

Wu says he never realized that Twitter’s trust and safety team made the decision politically motivated, as claimed by some critics on the platform. “They had a version of their product that was bad for users, and it was a good belief that they were trying to figure out how to make it better,” he said.

By privatizing the company, Mask will also eliminate the accountability that a board and shareholders can bring to a publicly traded company. Activist investors have previously filed resolutions seeking to push Twitter and other social media companies towards objectives such as stronger restraint policies and more environmentally friendly activities.

Andrew Behr, CEO of the nonprofit As You Soy, which represents a group of activist Twitter shareholders, said Twitter under Musk would probably look like Meta (formerly Facebook) under Mark Zuckerberg.

“You have a person in charge. Mark Zuckerberg made all the decisions. “No matter what resolution you file, he has a 10 to 1 vote,” Behar said.

Natasha Lamb, managing partner of Arjuna Capital, a boutique investment firm that owns shares in Twitter, says she is concerned that even if Mask owns Twitter, she will not be fully focused on it. “Twitter is very important to be a hobby,” he says

Lamb said he was unlikely to vote for Arjun. “I think he’s a brilliant engineer,” she says. “I am not sure he is a civil rights expert. I don’t think he’s an expert on freedom of speech.

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