Twitter CEO Elon Musk called a reporter out for apparently lying during a discussion of his platform’s content moderation policies on Tuesday during a livestreamed interview with BBC, prompting a conversation on Twitter about anti-disinformation groups.
The interview with BBC reporter James Clayton was broadcast live on Twitter Spaces, BBC reported.
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During the interview, Clayton said former Twitter employees have said there are not enough workers to moderate hate speech on the platform. He also said he had noticed an increase in “hateful content” on his feed since Musk took over the company in October.
But when pressed by Musk for examples, he said he could not give a specific example of hateful content, adding that he did not actually use the app’s algorithm-generated “For You” feed.
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“You just lied,” Musk said.
Clayton, still unable to provide an example, then attempted to back up his claim by saying the U.K.-based nonprofit Institute for Strategic Dialogue reported a rise in hate speech on the platform.
ISD describes itself as “an independent, non-profit organisation dedicated to safeguarding human rights and reversing the rising tide of polarisation, extremism and disinformation worldwide,” according to its website. In March, the organization said its research “found a major and sustained spike in antisemitic posts” since Musk’s takeover of Twitter.
After posting a clip of Musk and Clayton’s conversation, journalist Glenn Greenwald pointed out a page on the ISD’s website showing that its funding sources include a number of government agencies, tech companies in direct competition with Twitter, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
“It’s so clear how this scam works,” Greenwald said. “The US, EU, Big Tech and the same small handful of neoliberal billionaires (Gates, Omidyar, Soros) fund ‘disinformation experts’ to smear any sites they can’t control, or won’t censor on command, as being vectors of hate and disinformation.”
Musk replied to Greenwald’s thread, saying: “This is super messed up!”