Despite trying hard with his new toy, Elon Musk goes ahead with big Twitter layoffs

After a big blunder on Twitter on Sunday by the company’s new owner, Elon Musk, he is nonetheless moving forward with plans for major layoffs that could create even more content issues.

Musk previously asked managers for lists of workers to be laid off as part of a cost-cutting measure on Twitter, Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal reported. Sources have claimed he plans to cut the 7,500-strong workforce by up to 75% – although Musk denied this to staff members.

The reductions could be closer to 50%, the Washington Post reported on Saturday. One of the first to be cut would likely be the legal, trust and safety division, which oversees content moderation, according to the Post.

The cuts appear likely to boost controversial content, including pornography, misinformation and hate speech, as a large number of posts would go largely unmonitored.

Musk personally became part of the content issue on Sunday when he amplified in a post — which he later deleted — a completely baseless conspiracy theory about Friday’s vicious home invasion attack on husband Paul Pelosi. of Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“There is a small possibility that there is more to this story than meets the eye,” Musk said. He linked to an article falsely claiming that Pelosi’s attacker was a lover he met at a bar in the middle of the night. Police say emphatically that Paul Pelosi and assault suspect David DePape had never met before the attack.

Musk is already struggling to take control of Twitter.

Several users who had been banned for violating various company rules, including those against hate speech and racist lies, have reportedly taken to Twitter since Musk took over on Thursday.

Problematic content has also exploded. The Network Contagion Research Institute, which analyzes posts on social media platforms, found that using the racist N-word on Twitter increased by almost 500% in the 12 hours since Musk took over the company, The Washington Post reported last week.

musk on friday tweeted that it would not make “major content or account reinstatement decisions” until a new “content moderation board” is convened.

Musk has denounced Twitter’s content restrictions in the past, calling them biased and unwarranted censorship. But unfettered content could be bad for its new venture and, in some cases, leave Twitter vulnerable to lawsuits.

Musk tried to reassure advertisers in a post last week that Twitter would not become a “free-for-all hellscape.” But he already seems to be struggling with that promise.

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