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    X’s Pledge Against Hate Speech Reinforced Amid Musk’s ADL Confrontation

    X’s Pledge Against Hate Speech Reinforced Amid Musk’s ADL Confrontation: – X reaffirms its dedication to addressing hate speech while Elon Musk engages in a confrontation with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)

    During Elon Musk’s ongoing disagreement with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), where the ADL alleges that X is permitting increased distribution of hateful content on its platform, while X and Musk argue that hate speech has significantly decreased compared to previous levels, X has released an official statement to emphasize its unwavering commitment to combating antisemitism in any manifestation.

    According to X:

    “Our teams at X consistently heed feedback from users and maintain ongoing communication with external organizations to ensure that our policies and enforcement strike a harmonious balance between promoting free expression and ensuring platform safety. We firmly believe that these two principles can coexist, and we exert significant effort to realize this objective. As part of this commitment, we are dedicated to combatting hatred, bias, and intolerance, especially when they target marginalized and persecuted groups. This entails taking appropriate measures against content that breaches our guidelines.”

    In alignment with this commitment, X asserts that it has broadened its “Violent & Hateful Entities” policy and updated its guidelines concerning violent speech to demonstrate a strict “zero-tolerance stance.” X further states that it regularly incorporates new derogatory terms and harmful language into its operational guidelines to encompass “the ever-changing landscape of language usage to target individuals from protected groups, including the Jewish community.”

    “X is dedicated to countering antisemitism on our platform through our policies, enforcement, ongoing agent training, and collaboration with our partners and users. Our efforts are continuous, and we will persist in making investments in this domain.”

    It’s important to highlight that the statement was released on a late Friday afternoon, a time often associated with less visibility for press releases.

    However, this aside, the focal point here is the core issue. As mentioned earlier, amid persisting apprehensions regarding X’s revised “freedom of speech, not reach” strategy, which involves updating platform regulations and emphasizing de-amplification over removal, alongside the reinstatement of numerous previously banned users, X argues that organizations such as the ADL are causing it substantial losses in advertising revenue. This is a consequence of the inaccurate narrative they promote, suggesting that hate speech is on the rise within the app.

    To clarify, since Elon Musk acquired Twitter, the ADL has been closely observing the platform’s diverse policy alterations due to concerns that Musk’s personal stance on content moderation might result in an increase in hateful content.

    In May, the ADL conducted an evaluation of Twitter/X following the Musk acquisition and made the following observations:

    “[Our assessment] has revealed that Twitter often fails to enforce its policies against antisemitism, even when reported content openly encourages violence, as was also documented in our recent Holocaust Denial Report Card. Effective enforcement largely depends on adequate support and resources for the teams responsible for trust and safety. Unfortunately, Twitter has significantly reduced its staff responsible for content moderation and disbanded its Trust and Safety Council, which was a volunteer group of independent civil society experts providing guidance on mitigating harms. Notably, ADL was a member of this council.”

    Furthermore, the ADL has stated that X’s content policies are insufficient in addressing antisemitism and hate speech. Additionally, they have noted an increase in QAnon-related content on Twitter following Elon Musk’s acquisition of the platform, among other findings in their reports.

    Meanwhile, X’s internal data indicates a decrease in instances of hate speech, attributed to a revision in the methodology used for tracking such content within the app.

    In March, X’s partner Sprinklr shared its own research findings regarding hate speech instances in X posts. They discovered that 86% of X posts containing slurs were not deemed harmful or intended to cause harm.

    Sprinklr’s updated toxicity model examines data and classifies content as “toxic” when it is employed to demean an individual, target a protected group, or dehumanize marginalized communities. By considering factors like the context and reclaimed language, our model has been able to reduce inaccuracies in both identifying false positives and false negatives.”

    According to this analysis and using a list of 300 derogatory terms monitored by Sprinklr’s model, the company contends that 86% of these mentions were actually used in a non-offensive manner.

    As a result, Sprinklr asserts that any modeling solely based on the raw frequency of slur terms is flawed. This is the reason why several reports have indicated an increase in hate speech on the platform, even when it may not be the case.

    While the 86% figure may seem unusually high, X has nonetheless adopted this statistic. Additionally, in July, X reported that “over 99.99% of Tweet impressions are generated by content that is considered healthy, meaning it does not breach our guidelines.”

    So, according to X, a mere 0.01% of the content visible on its platform contains any form of hate speech or violates its rules. This would represent a remarkably high rate of effectiveness in content moderation. However, given X’s significant reduction in staff, including some of its moderation team, which the ADL has highlighted, there is a degree of skepticism surrounding these claims. Questions linger about whether X is genuinely achieving such levels of moderation.

    The ADL contends that X is not meeting these standards and provides evidence to support its position, although it relies on a limited sample size within its analysis, leaving room for the possibility that X is indeed achieving the aforementioned numbers.

    However, X has not released any concrete data to substantiate these assertions, only presenting the headline figures. This is why the validity of these claims is still disputed. X could resolve this uncertainty by disclosing the complete dataset and allowing external examination of its assertions. Nonetheless, it appears unlikely that it will do so, even though Elon Musk has recently threatened legal action against the ADL over lost advertising revenue.

    X’s Pledge Against Hate Speech Reinforced Amid Musk’s ADL Confrontation

    It will be intriguing to see what the data reveals if legal proceedings do occur, although there is speculation that Elon Musk might step back from pursuing legal action and instead attempt to pressure the ADL into silence while demonstrating to potential advertising partners that he is confident in his counterclaims.

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