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Twitter dissolves its Trust and Safety Council

Twitter on Monday disbanded its Trust and Safety Council, a group of volunteers who offered the company advice from outside experts on online safety, according to an email seen by NBC News.

“As Twitter enters a new phase, we are reassessing how best to bring external insights to our product and policy development work,” the company said in the email. “As part of this process, we decided that the Trust and Safety Council was not the best structure to do this.”

Alex Holmes, who had been a board member, tweeted that the email came after the company canceled a meeting with the board.

“The way this happened and the way the members were treated is regrettable and unacceptable,” said Holmes, a member of the advisory board of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and deputy CEO of the nonprofit group The Diana. Awards.

Holmes added, “Over the past week, several Board members have had their personal safety and well-being affected by the actions of Twitter staff.”

Elon Musk, Twitter’s new CEO, continues to shape the company towards what he has called its “free speech absolutist” ideals, which include restoring the accounts of white nationalists and QAnon adherents. Musk responded to concerns about abuse and misinformation flourishing on the platform by saying the company will embrace “freedom of speech, but not freedom of access.”

More recently, he has used his Twitter feed to more publicly embrace far-right talking points, including attacking Dr. Anthony Fauci while mocking the use of gender pronouns.

The link to the webpage because the board returned an error Monday night. A archived version of the page said the council “is made up of multiple advisory groups, each dedicated to issues critical to the health of the public conversation.”

“Areas of focus included online safety and harassment, human and digital rights, suicide prevention and mental health, child sexual exploitation and dehumanization,” he said, and the council included groups such as the Anti-Defamation League, GLAAD and the National Center. for missing and exploited children.

Some board members recently sparked a row over the company’s handling of child sexual exploitation material.

Some members quit last weeksaying, “A Twitter ruled by diktat is no place for us.”

Anne Collier, founder and executive director of nonprofit The Net Safety Collaborative, announced her resignation and that of two other board members in a tweet, to which right-wing activist Jack Posobiec replied that members of the board “belong to the prison” due to the company’s past handling of child pornography material. (The council gave its opinion on the matter but had no power to take action.)

Musk replied to Posobiec, “It’s a crime that they refused to take action against child exploitation for years!”

Jack Dorsey, the former CEO of Twitter, replied: “That’s wrong”.

nbcnews Gt

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