Twitter disbanded its Safety and Trust Committee via email and less than an hour before the members’ Zoom meeting with company executives, according to washington articles and NPR. The board was supposed to discuss recent developments and changes on the site under Elon Musk, but the email says members’ help is no longer needed. Its members have apparently been told that Twitter is “reassessing how best to bring in outside insights” and that the board is no longer “the best structure to do this.”
The company disbanded the group just days after 3 members voluntarily resigned. In their letter, they said Twitter users’ welfare is declining despite Musk’s claims and that executives are not authorized to determine the level of digital safety. In response to the news of their departure, Musk tweeted: “It’s a crime they refused to exploit children for so many years!” After that tweet, NPR said some remaining members have sent letters to Twitter asking the company to stop misrepresenting the board’s role, as attacks against former and current advisers continue to worsen.
Members of the Safety and Trust Council are not the staff handling moderation on the site, and they do not have the power to make decisions or review banned accounts and specific tweets. They are a group of outside advisors from specialist and anti-abuse organizations, including the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, YAKIN (Youth Survivors & Relatives in Need), Samaritans and GLAAD, volunteer their time to help Twitter figure out how to fight hate and harassment. When Twitter set up a council in 2016, it said the group’s aim was to make the site a less malicious place where “anyone, anywhere can safely and confidently express themselves.”
Larry Magid, executive director of the Silicon Valley nonprofit ConnectSafely, told many members were on the verge of resigning before the group was dissolved. Post. He said: “By disbanding [the council], we were fired instead of laid off. Elon doesn’t want to be criticized, and he really doesn’t want the advice he’s most likely to get from a safety advisory board that will probably tell him to re-hire some of the employees he knows. laid off and reinstated some employees. he dropped the rules and turned the company in a different direction than he was turning.”
In October, Musk said he would form a “censorship board” made up of members with “broadly diverse views” before reinstating banned accounts. But in an interview in November, he admit that he will still have the final say in making decisions. Twitter has yet to introduce a moderation board, but Musk has reinstated previously banned accounts’, such as by Donald Trump and by Andrew Anglinneo-fascist creator of Daily Stormer.
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. All prices are correct at time of publication.