Disclaimer: This article may contain the personal views and opinions of the author.
Elon Musk, the new owner and CEO of Twitter has allegedly locked employees out of the censorship tools, throttling their ability to remove posts they deem unworthy of sharing.
This comes just a week or so ahead of the midterm elections.
It limits the overreach of Twitter employees and allows for more open discussion on the social media platform, a goal of the new owner.
Jackie Davalos, a tech reporter at Bloomberg, said:
“A wide swath of Twitter’s trust & safety team had access to content moderation/enforcement tools frozen last week. Usually, hundreds of people on the team could remove posts w/misinfo, hate speech, etc. It’s now down to 15 people.”
Musk is intentionally limiting access to content moderation tools and the enforcement of Twitter’s other policies to a few of his most trusted colleagues and Tesla engineers.
He seeks to reign in the power of staffers to “alter or penalize accounts that break rules around misleading information, offensive posts and hate speech,” according to the Bloomberg report.
Some may view this change as dangerous and a “threat to democracy,” but others look at it as just the opposite.
For too long, Twitter employees were able to silence differing viewpoints and block legitimate news stories. Remember the Hunter Biden laptop?
Remember the cancellation of the accounts of highly credentialed doctors and researchers who dared to post different opinions regarding COVID-19 and masks?
Remember the silencing of people who dared to question the efficacy of masks?
Important information that would have helped people make informed decisions about voting and the best approach to dealing with the pandemic was hidden from them.
That’s dangerous! Allowing someone to tweet, “There are only two genders,” not so much.
People on the inside say that all of the tools besides the most “high-impact violations set for manual review” will remain.
The Twitter employees that work in that department use dashboards, called agent tools, to execute account bans or suspensions when they believe the person has breached Twitter policies, according to Bloomberg.
“Detection of policy breaches can either be flagged by other Twitter users or detected automatically, but taking action on them requires human input and access to the dashboard tools,” the report describes.
“Those tools have been suspended since last week, the people said. This restriction is part of a broader plan to freeze Twitter’s software code to keep employees from pushing changes to the app during the transition to new ownership.”
In the short term, the changes to Twitter may help to bring a balanced discussion on the major issues facing our country as we approach the November 8th midterms elections.
In the long run, many are hopeful that Twitter brings back free speech and an end to censorship, especially when it seemed to apply to only one side of every argument.