Twitter Has Removed More Than 1,500 Accounts As It Combats 'Surge In Hateful Content'

Elon Musk has finally acquired Twitter in a massive $44 billion deal. Naturally, chaos ensued. Musk got right to work after becoming the new owner of Twitter, and many people have some sort of an opinion about the changes; some good, but mostly bad. As the social media platform is buzzing with opinions both about the Twitter takeover and current world news, hateful tweets are on the rise, and according to some inside voices, Twitter is not exactly prepared to deal with that surge of hatred.

To say that it's been a crazy time on Twitter would be an understatement. Elon Musk spent a fortune buying Twitter, and now that he's officially the CEO, he's not wasting any time. He fired plenty of Twitter execs, started planning new ways in which to improve the platform, and made some controversial choices. Musk plans to change the verification system on Twitter; we also know his stance on free speech, or rather, the wish to allow absolute freedom of speech on the platform — that could bring some changes of its own, although the European Union might put a stop to it in some parts of the world.

With all the changes and the chaos surrounding them, many users are fleeing the platform in search of greener (and calmer) pastures (and you can see where they are moving to). However, some of those who are staying behind are definitely not behaving in an acceptable way. Twitter has dealt with a whole lot of such accounts, but reports say that it's ill-equipped to face what's yet to come.

The moderation team has never been smaller

Bloomberg reports that Twitter has had to limit its content moderation team drastically during the Musk takeover. According to anonymous inside sources cited by the publication, Twitter took away some employee access, limiting the ways in which those employees can enforce the current Twitter rules. This includes taking away access to internal tools for content moderation, and as a result, a lot of the people who work on the content moderation team cannot punish those who break the rules. These cases of misconduct include instances of hate speech, misinformation, and offensive content.

Due to the limitations enforced during this time, the moderation team is apparently only able to focus on high-impact rule violations. Such posts get bumped to manual enforcement and are dealt with, but the rest of it is in a bit of a limbo, it seems. Bloomberg claims that this restriction comes as part of Twitter's source code freeze to ensure that employees (some of whom may be getting laid off) will not make any changes to the app while the company transitions to working with Musk at the helm. This kind of special access is usually open to hundreds of Twitter employees, but now, it's been cut down to 15.

Twitter's Head of Safety and Integrity, Yoel Roth, seems unbothered by the situation. Roth claims that Twitter is doing exactly what it should be "in the midst of a corporate transition to reduce opportunities for insider risk." Roth also reports that the team has been "focused on addressing the surge in hateful conduct on Twitter." As a result, more than 1,500 accounts have been removed. Whether this will be enough still remains to be seen.