Twitter/X is going to ramp up censorship of "antisemitism and hate speech" in the wake of Elon Musk's visit to Auschwitz, X CEO Linda Yaccarino announced on Monday.
Safeguarding Information Independence and Combating Hate Speech
By Linda Yaccarino | Monday, 22 January 2024
Building an Indispensable Global Town Square
Faced with the option of a future dependent on gatekeepers and moderators that restrict the free flow of information or a world where information flows freely – I choose information independence. Here’s why.
As someone whose career was built around entertainment and news organizations I know the impact information can have on communities and culture. Joining X has been liberating, because it’s a place for everyone to freely be themselves. That freedom and society’s progress requires information independence: the free exchange of ideas, information and knowledge through freedom of speech. To drive humanity forward, society must empower people to express their thoughts, make up their own minds, but also draw the line at hate. This is tough to do, but absolutely crucial.
Some people believe they have complete information independence. They don’t – information independence is under threat. Heavy content filtering practices of some platforms and media entities have altered people’s understanding of the truth. And we’re seeing things we held as true being openly challenged. Control, censorship, and information centralization holds us back – while greater access to information propels us forward and fuels positive change. X users were widely critical of the move.
People want (need) unfiltered, accurate, information to make their own decisions. That’s why everything X does is in service of our ultimate goal: the relentless pursuit of the truth. Getting there means providing a platform for all ideas to flourish, where everyone — communities, creators, or businesses — can freely express themselves without censorship. It also means granting equality of access to that information to everyone, for free. Accurate and unbiased information will power a competitive economy and unlock greater innovation.
Consider this – in the last year there were more than 1 trillion impressions around conversations about the global economy, freedom of speech, immigration, education to elections and more. The benefits of these conversations are staggering. That’s also why we’ve also committed to accuracy and have expanded our community-led approach with Community Notes to address misinformation – with more than 375,000 contributors across 65 countries.
For all the good, there’s also a point when information independence crosses a line too, and that’s hate speech. We must all act now to combat hate as Elon firmly stated during the European Jewish Association's symposium. Sadly, since the October 7th terrorist attack antisemitism and hate speech have accelerated in the world. Hate speech completely corrodes our society, it divides people, and threatens the very order that affords us the lives we have. It’s all our duty to combat hate speech – in our communities and on every platform. Because freedom of speech and safety can and must coexist. And the future of democracy and the global economy depends on it.
X is doing its part on all fronts. As we build an indispensable global town square so everyone has the ability to connect, debate, share information and soon transact – we’re equally strengthening our efforts to combat hate and safeguard marginalized communities. Last year we removed millions of pieces of content and suspended just as many accounts that violated our Terms of Service, including Violent speech and Hateful conduct policy. Plus we’ve opened more lines of communication with groups dedicated to the safety of communities both in physical and virtual spaces. And we’ll keep going –this is not a check-the-box exercise for any of us – combating hate is a lifetime dedication.
Our mandate at X is clear: we must protect free speech, safeguard information independence while tackling antisemitism and hate speech. Through our collective technologies and human potential we can create a safer and more inclusive environment for everyone – giving way for information independence to be a force for good. It won’t happen overnight, but we must start now.
Let's make up our own minds – because we can handle the truth.
Let's fight hate with kindness and understanding.
Let’s do it all together.
The double standards are so transparent you can't help but laugh.
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