Elon Musk Signals Hard Times Are Ahead With Subtle Change on Twitter

Elon Musk, who began his Twitter reign last week with a joking reference to himself as “Chief Twit,” has taken on a darker tone in his Twitter profile.

Musk, now at the center of the storm over perceived changes at Twitter, as well as massive employee layoffs, has changed his location to “Hell.”

Musk has tried to wage his private battle against misinformation by telling his followers that content moderation is alive and well on the social media platform.

“Again, to be crystal clear, Twitter’s strong commitment to content moderation remains absolutely unchanged. In fact, we have actually seen hateful speech at times this week decline *below* our prior norms, contrary to what you may read in the press,” he tweeted Friday.

Musk also pushed back against the anger sparked by his layoffs.

“Regarding Twitter’s reduction in force, unfortunately there is no choice when the company is losing over $4M/day. Everyone exited was offered 3 months of severance, which is 50% more than legally required,” he wrote.

Twitter laid off about 3,700 people, according to The New York Times, which would have been a little under half of its pre-Musk workforce.

Musk is facing a lawsuit from workers who claim his action violates a federal law that requires advance notice of mass layoffs.

A report in The Washington Post linked the issues of content moderation and the layoffs by saying that political feathers have been deeply ruffled by actions taken on the cusp of Election Day.

The Post reported that it was told by a representative of a major political party that the party is seeing increased response time from Twitter when it wants to report misinformation. However, the report did not name either the party of the person making the claim or the person who was its source.

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“Law enforcement may lose precious minutes in identifying that person who we think is posing an actual threat,” said Katherine Keneally, a senior research manager at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, according to the report.

President Joe Biden piled on with his dose of criticism Friday.

“Elon Musk goes out and buys an outfit that sends and spews lies all across the world,” he said, according to Insider. “There’s no editors anymore.”

But Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of safety and integrity, said the facts do not bear out the panic, noting that Twitter’s “core moderation capabilities remain in place.”

“Yesterday’s reduction in force affected approximately 15% of our Trust & Safety organization (as opposed to approximately 50% cuts company-wide), with our front-line moderation staff experiencing the least impact,” he wrote in one tweet Friday.

Amid the consternation, traces of the trolling presence of the pre-purchase Musk appeared late Friday and early Saturday, with one tweet remarking, “Trash me all day, but it’ll cost $8,” a reference to the cost of Twitter’s subscription service, and another saying, “Power to the people.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.