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Tipsheet

Elon Musk Swats Down New York Times' Claim About Hate Speech on Twitter

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Multibillionaire Elon Musk pushed back on a story from the New York Times that claimed hate speech is on the rise on Twitter in the time since he took over the social media company. Critics of Musk has been using the supposed rise of hate speech on Twitter as a pretext for leaving the site or calling for Musk's removal as CEO. 

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"Breaking News: Hate speech on Twitter has jumped since Elon Musk took over, researchers found. Musk 'sent up the Bat Signal to every kind of racist, misogynist and homophobe that Twitter was open for business,' the head of one of the research groups said," the New York Times tweeted on Friday.

The Times citied the Center for Countering Digital Hate and the Anti-Defamation League for the claim:

Before Elon Musk bought Twitter, slurs against Black Americans showed up on the social media service an average of 1,282 times a day. After the billionaire became Twitter’s owner, they jumped to 3,876 times a day. Slurs against gay men appeared on Twitter 2,506 times a day on average before Mr. Musk took over. Afterward, their use rose to 3,964 times a day.

And antisemitic posts referring to Jews or Judaism soared more than 61 percent in the two weeks after Mr. Musk acquired the site.

Musk simply replied, "Utterly false" to the Times' tweet.

Musk tweeted a graph showing the number of impressions, or times a tweet has been viewed by other users, for hate speech has been on the decline. He further promised the company would be releasing data on a weekly basis.

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"There are about 500 [million] tweets per day [and] billions of impressions, so hate speech impressions are <0.1% of what’s seen on Twitter!" Musk added.

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