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Twitter is disbanding its Trust and Safety Advisory Group

Elon Musk’s Twitter has dissolved its Trust and Safety Council, the advisory group of around 100 independent civil, human rights and other organizations that the company formed in 2016 to combat hate speech, child exploitation, suicide, self-harm, and other issues on the platform. .

The board was scheduled to meet with representatives from Twitter on Monday evening. But Twitter notified the group via email that it was disbanding it shortly before the reunion, according to multiple members.

The council members, who provided images of the Twitter email to The Associated Press, spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal. The email said Twitter was “reevaluating how best to bring in outside information” and that the board was “not the best structure to do so.”

“Our work to make Twitter a safe and informative place will move faster and more aggressively than ever and we will continue to welcome your ideas on how to achieve this goal,” the email signed “Twitter” said.

The group of volunteers provided expertise and advice on how Twitter could better combat hate, harassment and other harm, but had no decision-making authority and did not review specific content disputes. Shortly after buying Twitter for $44 billion in late October, Musk said he would form a new “content moderation council” to help make important decisions, but later changed his mind.

“Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council was a group of volunteers who for many years volunteered their time when consulted by Twitter staff to offer advice on a wide range of security issues. and harm online,” council member Alex Holmes tweeted. it is a governing or decision-making body.

Twitter, which is based in San Francisco, had confirmed the meeting with the board on Thursday in an email promising an “open conversation and Q&A” with Twitter staff, including the new trust manager. and security, Ella Irwin.

It happened on the same day that three board members announced they were stepping down in a public statement posted to Twitter which said that “contrary to Elon Musk’s claims, the safety and well-being of Twitter users is in decline”.

These former council members quickly became the target of online attacks after Musk amplified criticism of them and Twitter’s former leadership for not doing enough to end child sexual exploitation on the platform.

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

A growing number of attacks on the board has raised concerns among some Remainers who emailed Twitter earlier Monday demanding the company stop misrepresenting the role of the board.

These false accusations by Twitter executives “endangered current and former Council members,” the email said.

In fact, the Trust and Safety Council had among its advisory groups a group that focused on child exploitation. This included the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, the Rati Foundation and YAKIN, or Youth Adult Survivors & Kin in Need.

Patricia Cartes, a former Twitter employee whose job it was to form the council in 2016, said on Monday that its dissolution “means there are no more checks and balances”. Cartes said the company was looking to bring a global perspective to the board, with experts from around the world. world who could relay concerns about how new Twitter policies or products might affect their communities.

She compared this to Musk’s current practice of polling his Twitter followers before making a policy change affecting how content is moderated. “He doesn’t really care that much what the experts think,” she said.

ctvnews Canada news

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