The Twitter Paradox
Op in USA Today about Twitter by Mike Freeman:
During the early days of Twitter, after being called the N-word about a dozen times in the span of a few hours, I decided to leave the platform. I cant remember why I was called so many racial slurs in such a short period day that ended in Y perhaps? But it had happened many times before. This was the Wild West days of Twitter when there were fewer protections, and many women and people of color were targets.
So I left. A short time later, a friend of mine, who is also Black and had endured similar hatred on the platform, and had also stopped using it, told me she had returned, and it was safer (I remember thinking her description sounded so dramatic). I came back, too, and Twitter was much better, and has been for years.
Then Elon Musk bought it. Whats happened since then is the site has changed, for the worse, so fast that at times I cant believe it. Nothing exemplifies that decline more than the increase in racism on it. Researchers found that the use of the N-word increased 500 percent 12 hours after Musk purchased the platform. There were also dramatic increases in anti-gay, antisemitic and anti-trans language.
When Musk took over, as the Washington Post and other news organizations note, it was seen as a pivotal moment for bigots. A wide range of anonymous accounts flooded Twitter after Musk started running it.
"Elon now controls twitter. Unleash the racial slurs. K---S and N-----S," read one account, using the slurs for Jews and Blacks, according to the Post.
"I can freely express how much I hate n-----s now, thank you elon," read another account. It has only gotten worse since then.
I dont know if Musk is a white supremacist, but the white supremacists think Musk is a white supremacist.
I was still reporting tweets like those mentioned above. As of about a month ago, I was still getting notifications that tweets were removed/people suspended or banned, some of them were even for reports that I made months ago.
Granted there's no longer the moderation team they once had, but auto-moderation is still picking up the most current ones if they're reported, as far as I know. I also believe they sort of aggregate reporting, so that if a number of people report one person, everyone who reported them gets notified, whether the tweet you personally reported was the straw that broke the camel's back. I don't have evidence of this, except the number of times notifications included tweets I didn't report.
Doesn't want to make me go back there, tho.