Twitter has always been a cesspool of vitriolic and hateful speech. However, when Elon Musk took the social media platform and declared himself the CEO, hate speech, and racial slurs increased exponentially. As per a report by The Washington Post, the use of specific derogatory epithets for African-Americans, Jews, and East Asians increased by up to 500 percent on the platform.
Elon Musk recently took to Twitter to announce that because of his team at Twitter, not only has there been a significant drop in the use of racial slurs and hate speech over the weeks that he took over, it is, in fact, down by a third from the pre-spike levels. That means hate speech is at an all-time low on Twitter.
Musk took to Twitter to share an infographic that showed that hate speech on Twitter was significantly down. The graph that Musk showed a little spike after the drop, but that was to be expected.
The Network Contagion Research Institute (NCRI), a research group based out of Princeton that analyzes social media content to predict emerging threats, had said that the use of the N-word on Twitter increased by nearly 500 percent in the 12 hours immediately after Musk’s deal was finalized.
Yoel Roth, who was Twitter’s head of safety and integrity when Musk took over, said, “a small number of accounts post a ton of tweets that include slurs and other derogatory terms.” He said that more than 50,000 tweets repeatedly using the derogatory term for an African-American came from just 300 accounts, most of which were “inauthentic.” Twitter also maintained that the spike in racial slurs was a part of a campaign to malign Musk.
After Musk posted that the use of hate speech was down on the platform, he also put out a Tweet that suggests that all of the chaos was caused by just 1500 accounts. This seems a little hard to believe. Musk also said that he thought of reprimanding those accounts and taking some action against them but then ultimately decided not to.
Musk also revealed that during the exercise, Musk saw a list of the most offensive terms used on the platform and with what frequency. It should be noted that an independent source or organization has not verified Musk’s claims as of yet.
His followers believe that hate speech has been down on Twitter, mainly because left-leaning users have left the platform in large droves or have stopped engaging on the platform because of Musk and his policies.