- LeBron James has reacted to news of a large influx of hate speech following Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter.
- “I hope he and his folks take this very seriously,” James tweeted Saturday.
- Twitter responded to reports of increased hate speech, saying “hateful conduct” was not welcome on the platform.
LeBron James said the rise of hate speech on Twitter is “scary AF” and urged new Twitter owner and CEO Elon Musk to take the issue seriously.
“I don’t know Elon Musk and, tbh, I could care less who owns twitter,” James tweeted on Saturday, responding to reports that use of the n-word on Twitter had increased nearly 500% in 12 hours since Musk finalized the acquisition. of the platform. “But I will say that if this is true, I hope he and his ilk take it very seriously because this is scary AF. So many inappropriate people saying hate speech is free expression.”
—LeBron James (@KingJames) October 29, 2022
Trolls trying to test the limits of the app’s content moderation also flooded the site with anti-LGBTQ slurs and sexist comments, according to the Washington Post.
Critics of Musk’s takeover of Twitter have warned that the new CEO and ownership leadership could result in the platform becoming a “supercharged radicalization machine,” citing an increase in such content.
Musk is a self-proclaimed “free speech purveyor” and said Thursday tweet the social media platform should follow “the laws of the land”. Hate speech, although not clearly defined under US law, is generally considered to be protected under the First Amendment right to free speech.
In response to reports of an increase in hate speech, Yoel Roth, Head of Safety and Integrity at Twitter, he wrote on Saturday afternoon that Twitter’s rules on hateful behavior have remained the same since Musk took control of the company.
According to Roth, 50,000 tweets “repeatedly using a specific insult” came from the same 300 accounts, most of which were described as “inauthentic”.
“Hateful behavior has no place here,” Roth wrote. “And we’re taking steps to stop an organized effort to make people think we’ve done it.”
Musk also said Friday that he would create a content oversight board with “very diverse views.”
“No major content decisions or bill rewording will be made before this board convenes,” Musk tweeted. So far, no other details of the board have been announced, including who will make up the board body.
Twitter representatives did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.