Twitter, others slip on removing hate speech, EU review says
LONDON (AP) — Twitter took longer to review hateful content and removed less of it in 2022 compared with the previous year, according to European Union data released Thursday.
The EU figures were published as part of an annual evaluation of online platforms' compliance with the 27-nation bloc's code of conduct on disinformation.
Twitter wasn't alone — most other tech companies signed up to the voluntary code also scored worse. But the figures could foreshadow trouble for Twitter in complying with the EU's tough new online rules after owner Elon Musk fired many of the platform's 7,500 full-time workers and an untold number of contractors responsible for content moderation and other crucial tasks.
The EU report found Twitter assessed just over half of the notifications it received about illegal hate speech within 24 hours, down from 82% in 2021. Facebook, Instagram and YouTube also took longer, while TikTok was the only one to improve.
The amount of hate speech Twitter removed after it was flagged up slipped to 45.4% from 49.8% the year before. The removal rate at other platforms also slipped, except at YouTube, which surged.
Twitter didn't respond to a request for comment. Emails to several staff on the company's European communications team bounced back as undeliverable.
Musk's $44 billion acquisition of Twitter last month fanned widespread concern that purveyors of lies and misinformation would be allowed to flourish on the site. The billionaire Tesla CEO, who has frequently expressed his belief that Twitter had become too restrictive, has been reinstating suspended accounts, including former President Donald Trump's.
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