Human rights groups raise hate speech concerns after Musk’s takeover of Twitter

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – Human rights groups on Monday (April 25) raised concerns about hate speech on Twitter and the facility that its takeover by Elon Musk would give the billionaire after the self-described “free speech absolutist” clinched a deal to take the social media platform non-public.

Musk, who can also be chief government of electrical automobile maker Tesla, has described himself as a “free speech absolutist” who has been essential of Twitter’s insurance policies of moderating content material on the platform. He has mentioned Twitter must change into a real discussion board at no cost speech. In a press release after securing the deal on Monday, Musk described free speech as “the bedrock of a functioning democracy”.

Twitter is not only one other firm, human rights advocates famous. “Regardless of who owns Twitter, the company has human rights responsibilities to respect the rights of people around the world who rely on the platform. Changes to its policies, features, and algorithms, big and small, can have disproportionate and sometimes devastating impacts, including offline violence,” Deborah Brown, a digital rights researcher and advocate at Human Rights Watch, instructed Reuters in an e-mail.

“Freedom of expression is not an absolute right, which is why Twitter needs to invest in efforts to keep its most vulnerable users safe on the platform,” she added.

Twitter didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon concerns raised by the groups.

“While Elon Musk is an ACLU card-carrying member and one of our most significant supporters, there’s a lot of danger having so much power in the hands of any one individual,” Anthony Romero, government director on the American Civil Liberties Union, instructed Reuters after the deal was introduced.

Amnesty International mentioned it was involved about any potential resolution that Twitter might take after Musk’s takeover to erode enforcement of the insurance policies and mechanisms designed to reasonable hate speech on-line.

“The last thing we need is a Twitter that wilfully turns a blind eye to violent and abusive speech against users, particularly those most disproportionately impacted, including women, non-binary persons, and others,” Michael Kleinman, director of know-how and human rights at Amnesty International USA, mentioned on Monday.

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