Twitter content moderation team unable to work following Musk takeover – Report

It seems that Elon Musk’s buyout of Twitter has already led to some negative effects on the platform. Reports indicate that the Twitter content moderation team has been unable to work amid the Musk takeover.

An anonymous source talking to Bloomberg claimed that Musk and co. have barred most of Twitter’s Trust and Safety team from accessing their usual policy enforcement and content moderation tools. As part of this, team members have reportedly been unable to impose penalties on accounts that violate Twitter’s rules on hate speech, as well as on posts that contain misleading information or offensive content.

According to the Bloomberg report, the restrictions on Twitter’s content moderation team following the Musk takeover are part of a wider effort to prevent employees from changing the site’s code during the transition period.

Twitter’s head of safety & integrity, Yoel Roth, confirmed this freeze on employee access.

“This is exactly what we (or any company) should be doing in the midst of a corporate transition to reduce opportunities for inside risk,” stated Roth in a tweet. “We’re still enforcing our rules at scale.”

The move to restrict employee access, even to moderation tools, makes sense from an internal perspective. That said, it comes at a contentious time for the U.S. as the country is currently in the middle of its midterm elections. (Read: An honest explainer on how technology is changing journalism—as told by actual journalists)

The site has previously been called out for helping contribute to the spread of election-time lies in the country. This included tweets from Elon Musk himself, promoting an untrue narrative surrounding an attack on U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband. In addition, Bloomberg reports that the Twitter moderation team has also been asked by Musk to review its policies on misinformation and hateful conduct surrounding COVID-19, transgender users and election outcomes.

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