Elon Musk continues to downsize moderation teams

Elon Musk continues to downsize moderation teams

After several waves of layoffs in November, at least a dozen people were fired at the end of last week.

Since the acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk, nearly 5,000 of the 7,500 employees have left the company. Moderation teams, already heavily affected by previous waves of layoffs, suffered further cuts last Friday, Bloomberg reports. According to the news agency, at least a dozen people were let go at the company’s Dublin and Singapore offices. They were responsible for managing misinformation, hate speech and harassment.

Among them are Nur Azhar Bin Ayob, site integrity manager for the Asia-Pacific region and Analuisa Dominguez, Twitter’s senior director of revenue policy. Ella Irwin, the company’s head of trust and safety confirmed the dismissal of several members of these teams to Bloomberg. “It made more sense to group the teams under one leader (instead of two) for example”, she explained. She also claimed that several roles within the company have been eliminated because she did not obtain a ” volume “ enough to warrant a “ongoing support”.

Increased risk of problematic content

These umpteenth cuts raise new fears about misinformation and other problematic content on the social network. This, while tens of thousands of banned accounts have been restored by Elon Musk, like Donald Trump. According to developer Travis Brown, more than 27,000 accounts have been restored after being suspended for misinformation, harassment or incitement to hatred, such as cardiologist Peter McCullough and doctor Robert Malone – “antivax” figures – or the far-right activist Pamela Geller. Contacted by AFP, the developer specified that the number of these accounts could be higher, his list being incomplete.

This return of banned accounts on Twitter has contributed to a sharp increase in problematic content on the social network. According to several NGOs, racist, homophobic, misogynistic and anti-Semitic messages have increased “shockingly” since the takeover by Elon Musk. This is not likely to reassure advertisers, many of whom have suspended their advertisements on the platform, nor the European Union, which pays particular attention to the social network in relation to the Digital Services Act (DSA), a law that came into force in November and imposing numerous obligations on digital platforms.

The boss of the company met several members of governments and European institutions to discuss this subject, including the Minister Delegate for Digital Jean-Noël Barrot on Friday. “At Twitter headquarters, Elon Musk confirmed to me his intention to comply with European rules, and his commitments on content moderation, the fight against disinformation and the protection of children”has declared the Minister, following this meeting.