There is a reason I constantly point out that the activist media is the enemy of the people. A report from Forbes further solidifies this reality in its latest attack on Elon Musk. Less than a week after the new Twitter CEO announced that the company would be making the dissemination of child pornography on the platform one of his top priorities, “experts” told the outlet that he is already making it worse.
In a piece titled “Elon Musk Inherited Twitter’s Child Abuse Nightmare–Experts Say He’s Making It Worse,” authors Alexandra S. Levine and Thomas Brewster suggested that Musk is making moves that will supposedly allow more child abuse to be shared on the platform. In the piece, they acknowledge that the company has long struggled to address child sexual abuse material (CSAM) on the site.
“Former law enforcement officials told Forbes that even under Dorsey, the platform had a worse grasp of the issue and weaker reporting processes than competitors,” they wrote. “Now, in the wake of Musk’s chaotic takeover of the company, they worry the problem will intensify.”
These “experts” pointed to the fact that Musk laid off half of Twitter’s staff upon taking over the company. They contend that with fewer people monitoring the site for problematic content, bad actors will be empowered to continue sharing CSAM on the platform.
Former police officer Yami Pence told Forbes, “If it was bad when there were a bunch of people [working on child protection], imagine nobody there taking care of it.”
She told the outlet that even under Twitter’s prior management, its reports to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) were “typically so delayed that the lag often prevented law enforcement from finding and prosecuting those involved.”
“I really hope Mr. Musk is ready and prepared–because there’s literally only backlogs,” she said.
The authors delved into the layoffs that occurred with Musk at the helm:
Still, Twitter’s trust and safety team–responsible for monitoring the platform for illegal content–has been eviscerated in the last two weeks. Many of its staffers have either been let go or resigned, most notably former head of safety and integrity Yoel Roth. With the exodus of employees following a Musk ultimatum that staff either sign up to an “extremely hardcore,” long-hours Twitter or leave, it’s unclear how many from Roth’s old team remain. But a recently departed Twitter employee told Forbes some staff directly handling the monitoring of CSAM and child grooming on the site were let go in the last two weeks. More decided to leave yesterday rather than sign up for Musk’s Twitter by his 5 p.m. ET deadline.
John Pizurro, a retired commander of New Jersey’s Internet Crimes Against Children unit,” said that the new CEO “put a whole bunch of children at risk,” and that “it doesn’t bode well.”
A former employee of the company said, “it wouldn’t take a genius to figure out, if you lay off people from any trust and safety team, it would inevitably impact the safety of children.”
There are a few flaws with these arguments.
For starters, it is abundantly clear that pre-Musk Twitter was not at all serious about reducing CSAM on the platform. It is the reason it has been sued by two plaintiffs for its refusal to take down videos depicting their abuse when they were children.
The fact that both of these individuals repeatedly begged the company to stop users from sharing the videos, the company’s moderators claimed the posts did not violate Twitter’s terms of service. Perhaps these are some of the employees that needed to be fired if they were unwilling to protect children when it was clear they were being sexually abused.
Secondly, critics are making it sound as if Musk conducting layoffs somehow means he won’t be serious about fighting child porn on Twitter. It is as if they haven’t even bothered to consider the possibility that he will likely replace the people he fired with workers and leaders who actually take this issue seriously, unlike the previous management.
Moreover, if Musk is going to combat child porn, then he knows he needs people in charge of performing this function; it’s not as if he would assume this problem would take care of itself, right? The man has built billion-dollar companies. I highly doubt that he doesn’t have a plan to address this issue.
At this point, it seems to me this is yet another hit piece attacking Musk because they don’t like his approach to content moderation. He has been CEO of the company for less than a month, and they are already trying to make it seem as if he will make child porn on Twitter worse before even seeing what he is going to do. But what else would we expect from these people?