Elon Musk’s X reinstated 6,000 banned accounts finds Australia safety regulator


Australia’s eSafety commissioner has blasted the social media platform X after it found that over 6000 banned accounts have been reinstated following Elon Musk’s takeover of the social media giant.

Australia’s eSafety Commissioner launched a scathing attack on the social media giant, formerly known as Twitter, stating it had created a “perfect storm for safety to be diminished” in Australia. She cited thousands of banned accounts which were subsequently reinstated, cuts to staff tasked with ensuring online safety, and procrastination on hate reports which were discussed in the organisation’s new report.

As reported by the country’s ABC News, Commissioner Julie Inman Grant went on to compare the situation to putting dangerous drivers back on the road without any further safety measures.

A legal notice was sent to the parent company of X in June last year to request urgent answers on how it was measuring up to the safety expectations set out by the Australian government. Ms Inman Grant has now revealed the “jaw-dropping” response to the communication with a prediction that X will only become more unsafe.

X accused of posing risks to Australia’s users

Since October 2022, when Musk acquired what was then known as Twitter, 6,103 accounts have been reactivated after they were banned. 194 of this figure had been suspended for hateful conduct.

“There needs to be some sort of oversight or scrutiny to ensure that they’re not continuing to present greater risks to Australian users,” implored Inman Grant.

She also revealed X had cut its “global trust and safety staff” by 33% since the takeover, which will have obvious consequences. It was further claimed median response times to hateful direct messages had slowed by 75% and could now take up to 28 hours, with responses to hateful general posts slowed by 20%.

This was met with further dissatisfaction by the Commissioner, “the current response time is absolutely too long and it’s not in line with previous practice, or what we would consider best practice,” she stated.

In response, X said it had introduced a new system of “restricting” hateful posts instead of deleting them. It claimed such restricted posts would not be visible next to advertising with the company outlining they received 81% percent fewer “impressions” (views) than posts which were unrestricted.

Image credit, Catarina Sousa, pexels.com


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