The Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) published a study claiming that X continued to host 98% of 200 hate posts that were reported by researchers.
Despite several warnings of a rise in hate speech and misinformation, Elon Musk’s X fails to remove posts promoting hate.
After collecting a total of 200 hateful posts from 101 separate accounts on X, researchers reported them to moderators using official X reporting tools on October 31st. All posts were published after Hamas’ attacks on Israel on 7th October and directly addressed the conflict.
All reported posts breached platform rules against hateful content and promoted antisemitism, Islamophobia, anti-Palestinian hate, or other hate speech – some included racist slurs, dehumanization, and hateful imagery.
Then, researchers reviewed the sample of posts a week later, on November 7th.
“Despite having a full week to process the reports, researchers found that X continued to host 98% (196) of the 200 posts,” CCDH said in its press release.
Researchers even included some links to the hateful posts. The batch included posts that:
- Incite violence against Muslims, Palestinians, and Jewish people
- State that “Hitler saw Jews for what they were”
- Claim that Muslims are “smelly rats”
- Refer to Palestinians in Gaza as “animals”
- Deny and diminish the Holocaust
- Promote antisemitic caricatures
- Promote antisemitic conspiracy theories
- Deny the existence of Palestinians as a people
- Glorify Nazis and Nazism
Only one account out of 101 was suspended and a further two were “locked.” In total, the posts had a total of more than 24 million views.
43 accounts were verified, which means they benefit from algorithm boosts for increased visibility.
“Hate actors have leapt at the chance to hijack social media platforms to broadcast their bigotry and mobilize real-world violence against Jews and Muslims, heaping even more pain into the world. X has sought to reassure advertisers and the public that they have a handle on hate speech – but our research indicates that these are nothing but empty words”, said Imran Ahmed, CEO and founder of the CCDH.
Starting a year ago, after his acquisition of Twitter, Musk slashed content moderation staff, reinstated some previously banned accounts, and offered increased visibility for anyone willing to pay $8 a month for a blue badge.
“Musk has created a safe space for racists and has sought to make a virtue of the impunity that leads them to attack, harass, and threaten marginalized communities,” Ahmed said.
In September, two different reports came to a similar conclusion – that X is extremely bad at countering state-sponsored propaganda.
The European Union’s report found X to have the highest ratio of disinformation posts of all the large social media platforms. The EU advised Musk to take better care in fighting disinformation and comply with new laws on fake news and propaganda.
And a review by NewsGuard, an anti-misinformation outfit, found that engagement “soared” by 70% for Russian, Chinese, and Iranian disinformation sources after Musk removed labels from state-run propaganda accounts.
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