Twitter Says That its Moderation Insurance policies Have Not Modified in Gentle of Musk Takeover


Up to now, many former associates and enterprise companions of Elon Musk have famous that he’s not the man that he seems to be primarily based on his tweets. Musk takes a extra rational, measured {and professional} method in his enterprise dealings, and whereas he could look to stoke controversy together with his numerous feedback and opinions, he additionally is aware of that, with a view to make the enterprise work, he must compromise and keep inside the guidelines, as ruled in every area.

Primarily, what Elon says and what he does are sometimes very various things, which is a vital notice when assessing his path for Twitter, and his tweeted edicts. 

At this time, EU Commissioner Thierry Breton met with Musk to debate Twitter’s latest change in administration, and its future alignment with the EU Digital Companies Act (DSA), which incorporates numerous provisions round content material moderation and consumer security, that Musk’s new Twitter staff must adjust to with a view to proceed working within the EU area.

Which, with thousands fewer moderation staff, might seemingly pose a problem.

As per Breton:

“Tright here continues to be enormous work forward, as Twitter must implement clear consumer insurance policies, considerably reinforce content material moderation and defend freedom of speech, deal with disinformation with resolve, and restrict focused promoting.”

However, Breton says, Musk has dedicated the corporate to adhering to those guidelines, which, no less than on the face of it, might have some impression on his broader ‘free speech’ method.

Although once more, what Elon says and what he does are totally different, and his repeated banging on the ‘free speech’ drum is more and more seeming extra aligned with boosting engagement than it’s about altering the corporate’s precise content material method.

Certainly, in a new blog post, outlining the method of Twitter 2.0, Twitter says that:

None of our insurance policies have modified. Our method to coverage enforcement will rely extra closely on de-amplification of violative content material: freedom of speech, however not freedom of attain.”

I imply, that’s not fully true – Twitter has stopped enforcing its COVID misinformation policy. However in a broader moderation and administration sense, Twitter says that its guidelines round hate and hurt stay in tact.

Musk appears to be making an attempt to play each side with this method – quite than removals and suspensions, Musk’s hoping that he can scale back the presence of offending tweets and feedback, which can be sufficient to fulfill the DSA and different regional necessities.

Which incorporates the necessities of Apple and Google, which each have content material moderation insurance policies constructed into their app retailer pointers.

Primarily, Musk can be restricted in how far he can take his ‘free speech’ method, it doesn’t matter what he says. However once more, Twitter’s insurance policies haven’t modified anyway, so regardless of Musk’s repeated proclamations that he’s combating without spending a dime speech, and standing up for folks’s proper to say what they like, in actuality, Twitter coverage, in its personal phrases, has not modified in any respect.

This additional factors to Musk utilizing the ‘free speech’ argument as a lever to spice up engagement, versus it being a elementary factor in his Twitter 2.0 imaginative and prescient.

Living proof – earlier this week, Elon tweeted out this meme after calling out Apple for scaling again its Twitter advert spend.

Musk then deleted the above tweet, then posted the remark embedded about his battle towards Apple being ‘a battle for the way forward for civilization’.

Elon knew that the meme weakened his argument, in that it revealed that he’s truly extra against paying Apple’s 30% App Retailer price than he’s towards Apple’s guidelines, which might, in some folks’s view, impression free speech. However he additionally is aware of that the free speech argument sparks extra controversy, extra debate, and can get him and Twitter extra consideration consequently, so he’s utilizing this as a proxy to place strain on Apple, in a bid to get out of paying 30% on Twitter Blue subscriptions.

Which is unlikely to work – however extra importantly, it highlights the techniques behind Elon’s politicized push.

That’s to not say that Elon doesn’t care about free speech, however he’s utilizing this as a negotiating tactic, versus taking an ethical or moral stand on this particular situation.

And once more, in closed rooms, in negotiations with the EU, in discussions with advertisers, I’m positive Elon’s method is far more subdued than it’s on-line. As a result of he is aware of that he wants them, he is aware of that he wants the entry, the advert {dollars}, he is aware of that he’ll need to play by the foundations to remain consistent with these necessities.

Which additional factors to the truth that you possibly can’t essentially depend on Elon’s tweets as an indicator of his technique. His tweets are a PR train, a way to drive controversy and debate, which can then convey extra customers to Twitter consequently.

As such, you possibly can anticipate Elon to proceed saying controversial issues, whereas additionally fastidiously staying inside the bounds of what’s authorized, and sustaining basically the identical guidelines and method to such within the app.

The ‘free speech’, ‘tradition battle’, ‘energy to the folks’ stuff is all only a sideshow designed to generate most publicity for himself and the app – and persuade his supporters to pay him $8 monthly.

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