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HomeInternationalElon Musk's Twitter girds for surge in US midterm election misinformation

Elon Musk’s Twitter girds for surge in US midterm election misinformation

Days after Twitter Inc fired half its employees and new proprietor Elon Musk tweeted a advice to vote for Republican candidates, election specialists are anxiously bracing for a surge in on-line misinformation as People head to the polls on Tuesday.
Researchers who examine election misinformation say threats, offensive language and false rumors of election fraud have been circulating extensively forward of the U.S. midterm elections, which is able to decide management of Congress for the subsequent two years.
Prevalent narratives embrace claims that delays in vote counting are related to fraud and that illness outbreaks are orchestrated as “scare techniques” to govern the election.
The layoffs at Twitter on Friday seem to have resulted in a “huge slowdown” within the firm’s responses to stories of these false narratives, in keeping with Frequent Trigger, a nonpartisan group based mostly in Washington, D.C. which runs a social media monitoring program to determine voter suppression efforts.
Frequent Trigger mentioned Twitter representatives have been nonetheless acknowledging receipt of the tweets it was flagging, nevertheless it was taking longer than normal for Twitter to evaluate them.
“What’s regarding and comparatively new is that it has taken Twitter for much longer than regular to adjudicate if these tweets violate their insurance policies,” the group mentioned.
Tweets flagged on Friday have been nonetheless marked as being “beneath evaluation” as of Monday night, though the method normally takes just a few hours, the group added.
Twitter, which has misplaced many members of its communications staff, didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
Every week after Musk took management of Twitter in a $44 billion acquisition, he gutted lots of the firm’s groups liable for elevating credible info, together with content material curation, human rights and machine studying ethics.
The layoffs additionally affected engineers throughout product and core infrastructure groups.
Over the weekend, Twitter compiled lists of individuals it had by chance laid off and deliberate to ask them to return, in keeping with sources acquainted with the matter and an inner Slack message reviewed by Reuters.
Each Musk and Twitter’s head of security and integrity Yoel Roth have sought to reassure customers, civil rights teams and advertisers in regards to the platform’s method to the midterm elections.
Musk tweeted final week that Twitter would uphold and implement its election integrity insurance policies, after assembly with activist teams which have pressured advertisers to tug their Twitter advertisements.
Roth additionally mentioned on Friday that the belief and security staff, which is liable for clamping down on dangerous content material, suffered much less affect from the layoffs than different groups.
Musk tweeted a hyperlink to Twitter’s content material guidelines on Monday that brought on confusion as a result of it appeared to depart out guidelines for deceptive content material. Requested if Twitter had stopped imposing towards misinformation, Roth later tweeted “no”.
Musk’s endorsement of a Republican-controlled Congress on Monday additionally raises the chance of misinformation, mentioned Eddie Perez, a board member at OSET Institute, a nonpartisan group that works on election safety, who beforehand labored on civic integrity at Twitter.
“If the billionaire proprietor of Twitter is supporting one facet, customers could give credence to false claims just because they might be aligned along with his obvious preferences,” he mentioned.

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