USA Loaded – Elon Musk has fired the entire election integrity team at X, raising concerns about the platform’s ability to protect users from misinformation and interference in the upcoming 2024 elections.
The cuts come less than a month after X said it was expanding its safety and elections team to “focus on combating manipulation, surfacing inauthentic accounts and closeby monitoring the platform for emerging threats.” This unit was created to identify threats from foreign and domestic sources by “posting or sharing content that may suppress participation, mislead people about when, where, and how to participate in a civic process, or lead to offline violence during an election.”
The move has been met with criticism from experts and advocates, who warn that it leaves the platform vulnerable to manipulation and interference.
“This is a deeply concerning move,” said one election security expert. “Election integrity teams play a critical role in protecting our democracy from misinformation and interference. By firing this team, Elon Musk is putting our democracy at risk.”
Another advocate said that the cuts are a “direct attack” on democracy.
“Elon Musk is clearly more interested in his own profits than in protecting our democracy,” they said. “By firing this team, he is giving a green light to foreign and domestic actors who want to interfere in our elections.”
The cuts come as X has been under fire for its handling of misinformation and hate speech. In recent months, there have been reports that the platform has not taken action on numerous “extreme hate speech” posts.
Musk has also made a number of controversial changes to the platform since taking over last fall, including mass layoffs, firing top executives, and launching the Twitter Blue program, which requires users to pay a monthly subscription for a verification check.
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