Twitter CEO disputes reporter’s claims in hate speech row
Elon Musk has accused a BBC reporter of lying about hate speech on Twitter. An audio clip from a discussion on Twitter Spaces showed US tech journalist James Clayton struggling to substantiate his own questions about the alleged increase in offensive content on the social media platform.
At one point in the interview, Clayton asked Musk to respond to claims that hate speech had become more prevalent on Twitter and that there weren’t enough moderating staff after Musk admitted to having laid off more than 80% of the company’s workforce since its takeover last October. .
After Musk asked the reporter to clarify the allegations, Clayton claimed he personally saw more “hate content” on his “For You” feed since the billionaire took over the business.
The Twitter CEO then asked the reporter to define what he meant by “hate content” and to provide at least one example of an offensive post he had seen.
Clayton replied that he considers “hate content” as “a bit racist” And “a bit sexist” but struggled to provide examples, admitting he hadn’t used the stream in several weeks.
“So I say, sir, you don’t know what you’re talking about.” Musk chimed in.
You may not provide a single instance of hateful content, not even a single Tweet. And yet you claimed that the hateful content was high. It’s wrong. You are just lying.
The BBC reporter insisted that there was “many organizations” who have seen an increase in offensive content on the platform. Musk dismissed that idea, stating that “people talk all kinds of nonsense” which prompted Clayton to move on to the next topic.
The reporter then asked Musk about Twitter changing its Covid misinformation rules. The billionaire replied that “Covid is no longer a problem” and argued that the BBC itself could be accused of spreading misinformation about the virus and failing to report side effects from vaccinations.
“And what about the fact that the BBC has come under pressure from the UK government to change its editorial policy? Musk asked.
Clayton deviated saying the interview “It wasn’t about the BBC.”
The British broadcaster then broadcast parts of the interview and simply published the title: “Elon Musk speaks to the BBC”.
Despite his criticism of the broadcaster, Musk said during the interview that Twitter would change the BBC’s recently added “government-funded organisation” label to the social media platform to say it is rather “funded by the state”.
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