Twitter Says That its Moderation Insurance policies Have Not Modified in Mild of Musk Takeover

Prior to now, many former associates and enterprise companions of Elon Musk have famous that he’s not the man that he seems to be based mostly on his tweets. Musk takes a extra rational, measured {and professional} method in his enterprise dealings, and whereas he could look to stoke controversy together with his varied feedback and opinions, he additionally is aware of that, to be able to make the enterprise work, he must compromise and keep throughout the guidelines, as ruled in every area.

Basically, what Elon says and what he does are sometimes very various things, which is a vital be aware when assessing his path for Twitter, and his tweeted edicts. 

Right this moment, EU Commissioner Thierry Breton met with Musk to debate Twitter’s latest change in administration, and its future alignment with the EU Digital Companies Act (DSA), which incorporates varied provisions round content material moderation and consumer security, that Musk’s new Twitter crew must adjust to to be able to proceed working within the EU area.

Which, with thousands fewer moderation staff, may seemingly pose a problem.

As per Breton:

“Tright here continues to be enormous work forward, as Twitter must implement clear consumer insurance policies, considerably reinforce content material moderation and defend freedom of speech, sort out disinformation with resolve, and restrict focused promoting.”

However, Breton says, Musk has dedicated the corporate to adhering to those guidelines, which, at the least on the face of it, may have some impression on his broader ‘free speech’ method.

Although once more, what Elon says and what he does are completely different, and his repeated banging on the ‘free speech’ drum is more and more seeming extra aligned with boosting engagement than it’s about altering the corporate’s precise content material method.

Certainly, in a new blog post, outlining the method of Twitter 2.0, Twitter says that:

None of our insurance policies have modified. Our method to coverage enforcement will rely extra closely on de-amplification of violative content material: freedom of speech, however not freedom of attain.”

I imply, that’s not completely true – Twitter has stopped enforcing its COVID misinformation policy. However in a broader moderation and administration sense, Twitter says that its guidelines round hate and hurt stay in tact.

Musk appears to be making an attempt to play each side with this method – quite than removals and suspensions, Musk’s hoping that he can cut back the presence of offending tweets and feedback, which might be sufficient to satisfy the DSA and different regional necessities.

Which incorporates the necessities of Apple and Google, which each have content material moderation insurance policies constructed into their app retailer tips.

Basically, Musk might be restricted in how far he can take his ‘free speech’ method, it doesn’t matter what he says. However once more, Twitter’s insurance policies haven’t modified anyway, so regardless of Musk’s repeated proclamations that he’s combating at no cost speech, and standing up for individuals’s proper to say what they like, in actuality, Twitter coverage, in its personal phrases, has not modified in any respect.

This additional factors to Musk utilizing the ‘free speech’ argument as a lever to spice up engagement, versus it being a basic component in his Twitter 2.0 imaginative and prescient.

Working example – earlier this week, Elon tweeted out this meme after calling out Apple for scaling again its Twitter advert spend.

Musk then deleted the above tweet, then posted the remark embedded about his combat towards Apple being ‘a battle for the way forward for civilization’.

Elon knew that the meme weakened his argument, in that it revealed that he’s really extra against paying Apple’s 30% App Retailer payment than he’s towards Apple’s guidelines, which may, in some individuals’s view, impression free speech. However he additionally is aware of that the free speech argument sparks extra controversy, extra debate, and can get him and Twitter extra consideration consequently, so he’s utilizing this as a proxy to place strain on Apple, in a bid to get out of paying 30% on Twitter Blue subscriptions.

Which is unlikely to work – however extra importantly, it highlights the ways behind Elon’s politicized push.

That’s to not say that Elon doesn’t care about free speech, however he’s utilizing this as a negotiating tactic, versus taking an ethical or moral stand on this particular problem.

And once more, in closed rooms, in negotiations with the EU, in discussions with advertisers, I’m certain Elon’s method is rather more subdued than it’s on-line. As a result of he is aware of that he wants them, he is aware of that he wants the entry, the advert {dollars}, he is aware of that he’ll should play by the principles to remain according to these necessities.

Which additional factors to the truth that you may’t essentially depend on Elon’s tweets as an indicator of his technique. His tweets are a PR train, a way to drive controversy and debate, which is able to then deliver extra customers to Twitter consequently.

As such, you may anticipate Elon to proceed saying controversial issues, whereas additionally rigorously staying throughout the bounds of what’s authorized, and sustaining basically the identical guidelines and method to such within the app.

The ‘free speech’, ‘tradition battle’, ‘energy to the individuals’ stuff is all only a sideshow designed to generate most publicity for himself and the app – and persuade his supporters to pay him $8 per thirty days.

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