In news that’ll surprise nobody, Elon Musk’s Twitter has become a hate factory. Hate speech on Twitter has existed for a long time, but it was previously considered a problem; now, it’s a feature. A new report shows that if you pay for a Twitter Blue subscription, you get a free pass for hate speech.
Researchers at the Center For Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) flagged hate speech to the company in tweets from 100 Twitter Blue subscribers. Four days later, they say, 99 percent of the tweets were still up and none of the accounts had been removed…
“What gives blue tick hate actors confidence to spew their bile is the knowledge that Elon Musk simply doesn’t care about the civil and human rights of Black people, Jews, Muslims and LGBTQ+ people, as long as he can make his 8 bucks a month,” Imran Ahmed, the chief executive of the CCDH, said in a statement to The Daily Beast, “Our society has benefited from decades of progress on tolerance, but Elon Musk is undoing those norms at an ever-accelerating rate, by allowing hate to prosper on the spaces he administers, all with the tacit approval of the advertisers who remain on his platform.”
If you’re a Twitter user this won’t surprise you: posts by or about marginalised groups attract swarms of blue tick bigots, and because their replies are now prioritised you’ll see their hateful replies ahead of any other comments. And that hatred is profitable: as the article says, “five high-profile Twitter accounts responsible for consistently linking LGBT to ‘grooming’ were set to generate $6.4 million a year in advertising revenue for Twitter.”