Musk Responds as LeBron James Calls on him to Address ‘Scary AF’ Surge of the N-Word on Twitter

UPDATE 10/31/2022

Musk didn’t directly address James’ concerns, but he did retweet at him a statement by Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of safety and integrity which read:

“Over the last 48 hours, we’ve seen a small number of accounts post a ton of Tweets that include slurs and other derogatory terms. To give you a sense of scale: More than 50,000 Tweets repeatedly using a particular slur came from just 300 accounts.”

Roth added, “Nearly all of these accounts are inauthentic. We’ve taken action to ban the users involved in this trolling campaign – and are going to continue working to address this in the days to come to make Twitter safe and welcoming for everyone.”

Original story continues below: 

While Elon Musk has promised a more equitable and transparent Twitter experience, it bears the potential of turning into precisely what critics feared it would: a lawless wasteland of hate.

That becomes evident when you note that there has been a 500% surge in the use of the “n-word” on Twitter since Musk took over.

NBA star LeBron James urged Musk to address what he called the “scary AF” surge.

James wrote, “I don’t know Elon Musk and, tbh, I could care less who owns Twitter. But I will say that if this is true, I hope he and his people take this very seriously because this is scary AF. So many damn unfit people saying hate speech is free speech.”

The data about the surge comes from Network Contagion Research Institute, a research group that analyzes social media content to predict emerging threats. And the 500% surge came in the 12 hours immediately after Musk finalized his deal to take over Twitter, clearly correlating the incidents.

Bloomberg released their report, which found a 1,300% increase in the slur being used on Twitter following the news of Musk’s closed deal. At its peak, Bloomberg found that the n-word appeared on Twitter 170 times every five minutes.

According to a report by The Washington Post, anonymous accounts are pushing the limits of content to see how far Musk’s commitment to allowing free speech actually extends. They are allegedly testing the new moderation landscape.

Musk later tweeted, “we have not yet made any changes to Twitter’s content-moderation policies.”


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