In response to recent criticism surrounding content moderation, Elon Musk’s X is taking a significant step by hiring 100 full-time employees for its newly established Trust and Safety office in Austin, Texas.
This move follows the disbandment of global trust and safety teams after the company’s acquisition, with a particular focus on addressing concerns related to Child Sexual Exploitation Moderation (CSEM).
X CEO Linda Yaccarino is set to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 31, shedding light on X’s approach to handling CSEM. The company aims to reinforce its commitment to combating online exploitation of minors, emphasizing a “zero tolerance” policy.
The dedicated team will not only concentrate on CSEM but will also play a vital role in other moderation efforts, including the combat against hate speech. Job listings for these roles specify responsibilities such as investigating spam, fraud, and providing customer support.
The decision to establish a Trust and Safety center of excellence in Austin stems from a recent incident where sexually explicit fake photos of musician Taylor Swift circulated on the platform without prompt removal, prompting user concerns.
In an official blog post, X stated, “At X, we have zero tolerance for Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE), and we are determined to make X inhospitable for actors who seek to exploit minors. In 2023, we made clear that our top priority was tackling CSE online.”
Looking ahead, X is committed to enhancing detection mechanisms, collaborating with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). In 2023, the company suspended 12.4 million accounts for CSE policy violations, significantly increasing from the 2.3 million accounts suspended in 2022.
X vows to continue its robust investment in combating child sexual exploitation online and expanding efforts to educate users on this critical issue throughout 2024.
After Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter in October 2022, substantial changes were implemented, including layoffs affecting about 30% of the workforce. Musk justified these cuts as necessary for financial stability and simplifying the company’s operations. However, the abrupt and unconventional handling of the layoffs drew criticism, with concerns raised about the potential impact on Twitter’s functionality and long-term prospects.