SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Three members of Twitter’s Trust & Safety Council resigned Thursday in protest over Elon Musk’s policies since taking charge of the platform. In a letter posted to Twitter by Anne Collier, founder of the Net Family News, and co-signed by two others, the trio accused Musk of allowing the safety and wellbeing of Twitter users to decline.
“The question has been on our minds: Should Musk be allowed to define digital safety as he has freedom of expression?” the letter read. “Our answer is a categorial ‘no.'”
Collier and Eirlani Abdul Rahman have been members of the counsel since 2016, the letter states. The letter was also signed by Lesley Podesta, who in addition to serving on the council, is a member of the Young and Resilient Research Center.
“Having followed the research on youth online risk since 1999, I know how hard it is for platforms to get it right, honoring young users’ rights of protection, participation and privacy simultaneously,” wrote Collier. “But some progress has been made in the industry. Tragically, the research shows that Twitter is going in the opposite direction, and I can no longer find a reason to stay in tacit support of what Twitter has become.”
“I have watched with, dare I say, trepidation, the negotiations over Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter,” wrote Abdul Rahman. “I had written down some commitments to myself at the time. Should Musk step over those thresholds, I told myself I would resign. Those red lines have been crossed.”
Abdul Rahman cited research from the Anti-Defamation League and the Center for Countering Digital hate indicating slurs against Black Americans and gay men have jumped 195% and 58% respectively since Musk assumed control of the platform. Antisemitic posts have increased more than 61% since Musk’s takeover, she also said.
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“Another red line for me was when previously banned accounts such as those on the far right, and those who had incited others to violence, such as then US President Donald Trump’s, were reinstated.”
In a thread related to the post, Musk responded to a user who accused the resigned counsel members of allowing child exploitation to exist on the platform, tweeting “It is a crime that they refused to take action on child exploitation for years.”
Twitter founder Jack Dorsey responded to Musk’s tweet, saying simply, “This is false.”
Musk rebutted Dorsey, saying “No it is not.” He then accused members of Twitter’s former leadership of not being concerned with child safety, saying former Twitter exec Ned Segal was, at the time, “spending millions of dollars on Warriors sets,” and had “super mess up priorities.”