Despite Elon Musk’s promises, Twitter has failed to remove hate speech from their platform. In fact, they might be spreading it.
A new report from the Center for Countering Digital Hate says the social media platform has failed to remove 99 percent of hate speech posted by Twitter Blue users, and instead may be boosting paid accounts that use hate speech. The CCDH flagged tweets from 100 Twitter Blue subscribers that contained hate speech. Four days later, the organization said 99 percent of the tweets were still up and none of the accounts had been removed.
The tweets, which included examples of neo-Nazism, antisemitism, racism and more, violate Twitter’s own hate speech policies, the researchers say. The tweets reported by the CCDH included a post claiming “Hitler was right,” accompanied by a video montage of the dictator.
Twitter’s hateful content policy, updated as recently as April 2023, states: “You may not directly attack other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, caste, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.”
The CCDH argues the tweets found by their researchers “clearly violate the platform’s policies.”
CCDH researchers say they found Twitter Blue users — users who pay $8 a month for “extra features” — in their samples appeared to be “given priority” in threads.
“In one example of a thread containing almost 100 tweets from non-verified users, the top-ranked reply was from a Twitter Blue user calling for violence against Migrants,” the report said.
The social media platform has been criticized for its lax moderation policies, which have allowed hate speech to flourish on its platform. A recent study by the Anti-Defamation League found that Twitter is the most popular social media platform for hate speech, with over 100,000 tweets containing hate speech per day.
Twitter has taken some steps to address the problem, but the CCDH argues these steps have been largely ineffective.
Imran Ahmed, the chief executive of the CCDH, said in a statement to The Daily Beast, “Our society has benefited from decades of progress on tolerance, but Elon Musk is undoing those norms at an ever-accelerating rate, by allowing hate to prosper on the spaces he administers, all with the tacit approval of the advertisers who remain on his platform.”