Twitter’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) has boasted that the platform has been taking formal steps to reduce “hate speech” in an apparent effort to rebuild trust with advertisers.
In a lengthy tweet posted on July 19, Linda Yaccarino, who sits on the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Media, Entertainment and Culture Industry Governors Steering Committee, attempted to dissuade readers regarding a report that claiming “hate speech” was on the rise on Twitter.
“A Bloomberg article today claims that harmful content viewed on Twitter is on the rise, but that’s not true. Here’s what is true – more than 99% of content users and advertisers see on Twitter is healthy, “ she wrote.
Continuing, Yaccarino explains that over the past several months, Twitter has taken appropriate steps to reduce the spread of “hate speech” and is giving advertisers more ownership over the timelines their ads appear on. Notably, what content constitutes “hate speech” was not defined.
“Recently we’ve expanded our Freedom of Speech Not Reach policy enforcement because we’re seeing exceptional results. For example, in comparison to a healthy tweet, any tweet that’s labeled with this enforcement is restricted from scaling and experiences a dramatic drop in reach of more than 80%. Additionally, we proactively prevent all ads from appearing adjacent to any content that’s labeled.”
Some new safety features to appease advertisers’ apparent concerns include allowing them to browse content and select which Tweets are best suited for their ads. In addition, as Financial Times reports, Twitter plans to introduce a video ads service and bring more celebrities, political figures, and content creators to the platform in order sell more ads.
While advertising revenue has reportedly dropped 50% since Elon Musk purchased the social media platform for $44 billion last year, Yaccarino hopes her plans will help make up lost revenue and build trust with advertisers.
Despite her efforts, some users are skeptical of Yaccarino due to her WEF affiliations, and have taken to Twitter to express their concerns about her plans to combat “hate speech” on the site.
Chris Elston, a Canadian activist, highlighted in a Tweet that Twitter’s recent permanent sensitive content bans have affected many users who are critical of gender ideology.
In a thread, Elston continued: “Now the WEF employee who has been made CEO, @lindayacc, is implementing AI to appease advertisers who still don’t like Elon tweeting after 3am and who think this site is hateful.”
Others have expressed confusion about what Yaccarino is classifying as “hate speech,” with many concerned she is only referring to unpopular or controversial opinions.
“Using the terms ‘safe and healthy’ honestly isn’t encouraging at all. It sounds like euphemistic language designed to give you an excuse to censor and ban. We don’t need ‘safe and healthy’ we need open and free,” replied Josh Walkos, a journalist for The Publica.