Misinformation about Elon Musk’s midterm elections on Elon Musk’s Twitter According to Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: TA views the Twitter logo at its corporate headquarters in San Francisco, California, U.S. October 28, 2022. REUTERS / Carlos Barria / File Photo

By Katie Paul

(Reuters) – The following days Twitter Inc (NYSE:) has laid off half of its employees and new owner Elon Musk has tweeted his recommendation to vote for Republican candidates, election experts are anxiously preparing for a surge in information. misinformation online as Americans go to the polls on Tuesday.

Electoral disinformation researchers say threats, derogatory language and false rumors about election fraud were widely circulated ahead of the US midterm elections , will determine the control of Congress for the next two years.

Popular stories included claims that vote counting delays were linked to fraud and the outbreak was staged as a “scare tactic” to manipulate the election.

According to Common Cause, a Washington, DC-based nonpartisan organization, the Washington, DC-based nonpartisan organization ran a social media surveillance program to identify identities. voters. repressive efforts.

Common Cause said Twitter representatives still confirmed receipt of tweets they flagged, but it took longer than usual for Twitter to evaluate them.

“It is concerning and relatively new that Twitter has taken longer than usual to adjudicate whether these tweets violate their policies,” the organization said.

Tweets flagged on Friday were still marked as “under review” as of Monday night, although the process usually takes only a few hours, the group added.

Twitter, which has lost many members of its media team, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A week after Musk took control of Twitter in a $44 billion acquisition, he gutted many of the company’s teams responsible for promoting trustworthy information, including content management, human rights and machine learning ethics.

The layoffs also affect engineers in core infrastructure and product teams.

Over the weekend, Twitter compiled a list of people it had accidentally fired and planned to ask them back, according to sources close to the matter and an internal Slack announcement seen by Reuters. consider.

Both Musk and Twitter’s head of safety and integrity, Yoel Roth, have sought to reassure users, civil rights groups and advertisers about the platform’s approach to the midterm elections. .

Last week, Musk tweeted that Twitter would maintain and enforce its election integrity policies, following a meeting with activist groups that pressured advertisers to pull ads on the site. Their Twitter.

Roth also said Friday that the trust and safety team, which is responsible for preventing harmful content, suffered less from layoffs than other groups.

Musk tweeted a link to Twitter’s content rules on Monday, causing confusion as it appeared to have ignored the rules for misleading content. When asked if Twitter would stop enforcing disinformation, Roth later tweeted “no”.

Eddie Perez, a board member at the OSET Institute, a nonpartisan group working on election security who previously worked on civic integrity at Twitter, said Musk’s support for Congress Republican-controlled on Monday also increases the risk of misinformation.

“If the billionaire who owns Twitter is one-sided, users can trust false statements simply because they may be in line with his obvious preferences,” he said.


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