Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter, responded mockingly to a BBC report that claimed, among other things, that the social media network struggles to shield users from online harassment and child sexual exploitation.
In a tweet on Monday, the billionaire apologized ‘for turning Twitter from nurturing paradise into place that has … trolls.’
‘Literally roflmao’ replied Musk to a tweep who mockingly said that before the ownership of Twitter, no one had ever said anything mean to them.
According to data from the Institute for Strategic Dialogue think tank, which was featured in the BBC Panorama program, since Musk gained control, tens of thousands of new accounts have appeared and have been swiftly followed by nasty and misogynistic profiles that are well-known.
The statistics showed a “permissive environment,” according to the report, and were 69% higher than they were prior to his appointment.
Lisa Jennings Young, a former head of content design at Twitter, said before the takeover by Musk that the platform was trying to rein in trolling on Twitter.
‘It was not at all perfect. But we were trying, and we were making things better all the time,’ she said.
‘Twitter might have been the refuge where journalists would go out and have their voices heard and be critical of the government. But I’m not sure that’s going to be the case anymore,’ he said.
‘There are a number of key experts that are no longer in that team that would have covered special regions, or threat actors, from Russia to China.’
Another unnamed insider told the BBC that the team of 20 employees who used to work on combating child sexual exploitation had been reduced to just six or seven as a result of the outflow of expertise from Twitter.
The research found that child sexual exploitation on Twitter is on the rise and that there aren’t as many services available to report suspected perpetrators to the authorities.
One recent employee claims that targeted abuse efforts meant to restrict free speech as well as foreign influence operations, which were once regularly removed from Twitter, are now going “undetected”.
According to the research, accounts that have become more active since the takeover and show signs of having either been reactivated or newly created have targeted rape survivors.
After Musk acquired the website for $44 billion in October of last year, at least half of Twitter’s 7,500 employees have been fired or made the decision to quit.
More than 40,000 people cast votes, and 89% of them said Musk ought to speak with BBC Panorama.