Liberal lawmakers accuse Musk of hate speech profit making

Democratic lawmakers writes to Elon Musk and X’s CEO concerning the prolific show of hate speech on its platform.

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In a letter dated November 21, 2023, twenty-seven Members of the US Congress addressed X’s owner, Elon Musk, and CEO, Linda Yaccarino, concerning the platform’s promotion of ‘misinformation and hateful, violent and terroristic propaganda videos’ for profit. The Democratic lawmakers expressed profound concern for the cloud of antisemitic rhetoric proliferating the platform following Mr Musk’s purchase of it. Specific mention was made of the spread of gruesome propaganda videos showcasing violent acts perpetrated by Hamas terrorists against Israelis on X’s paid subscription accounts. The letter also evidenced several studies conducted by independent research organisations such as the Tech Transparency Project (TTP) and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), making similar claims against the platform. 

The letter emphasised that not only does the performance of the platform violate its policy, namely ‘the Perpetrators of Violent Attacks’ policy, but it is in direct contravention of regional legislation such as the GDPR and a global campaign to denounce hate speech, particularly on social media platforms.

The letter concludes with demands that the platform operators provide reasons for the prior occurrences, commit to enforcing existing policies, and outline what steps they intend to take to ensure similar incidents do not reoccur. A deadline of December 1 was given for a response.

What does it matter? 

X is one of if not the most widely used social media platform, and as such, standards set by this platform can easily set a precedent for others to follow. X not following through with policies established for the industry, particularly as it relates to hate speech such as antisemitism, can serve to create havoc of mammoth proportions.