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Musk guts X’s election integrity teams ahead of major votes

X-owner Elon Musk said that he had gutted the platform’s team dedicated to preserving election integrity as votes in many countries are approaching.

Elon Musk has made major, often controversial changes to the social media site in the year since he purchased Twitter — © AFP Stefani Reynolds
Elon Musk has made major, often controversial changes to the social media site in the year since he purchased Twitter — © AFP Stefani Reynolds

X-owner Elon Musk said that he had gutted the platform’s team dedicated to preserving election integrity as key votes in many countries are approaching.

“Oh you mean the ‘Election Integrity’ Team that was undermining election integrity? Yeah, they’re gone,” Musk wrote in a post on Wednesday, in response to a report in The Information.

The online outlet said that X, formerly known as Twitter, was cutting half of its global team dedicated to monitoring and limiting disinformation and fraud around major elections.

There are more than 50 major elections expected around the world next year, including the US presidential election, but also in India, Africa and the European Union.

The cut came just after X was found by EU regulators to have the biggest proportion of disinformation of major social networks scrutinized in an analysis by Brussels.

A new EU regulation compels tech companies to better police content to protect European users against disinformation and hate speech, and those that breach the law could face fines.

The job cuts appear in contradiction with recent statements by X CEO Linda Yaccarino, who told the Financial Times this week that the platform was expanding its teams around the world ahead of the busy election season.

Asked about the report in a separate interview at the Vox Code Conference on Wednesday, Yaccarino said election integrity was “an issue we take very seriously.”

“Contrary to the comments that were made, there is a robust and growing team at X that is wrapping their arms around election integrity,” she added.

In her conversation, Yaccarino also said X would turn a profit early next year.

She also refused to confirm that X would start charging money to all its users, implying that it was an “idea” and not a plan.

During a talk with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week, Musk said that introducing a “small monthly payment” for X was the only way to combat the legions of automated accounts, known as bots, that plague the site.

AFP
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With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

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