Elon Musk’s Twitter has dissolved its Trust and Safety Council, the advisory group of around 100 independent civil, human rights and other organizations that the company formed in 2016 to combat hate speech, child exploitation, suicide, self-harm, and other issues on the platform. .
The board was scheduled to meet with representatives from Twitter on Monday evening. But Twitter notified the group via email that it was disbanding it shortly before the reunion, according to multiple members.
The council members, who provided images of the Twitter email to The Associated Press, spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal.
“Our work to make Twitter a safe and informative place will move faster and more aggressively than ever and we will continue to welcome your ideas on how to achieve this goal,” the email signed “Twitter” said.
The group of volunteers provided expertise and advice on how Twitter could better combat hate, harassment and other harm, but had no decision-making authority and did not review specific content disputes.
“Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council was a group of volunteers who for many years volunteered their time when consulted by Twitter staff to offer advice on a wide range of security issues. and harm online,” council member Alex Holmes tweeted. “At no time was it a governing body or a decision-making body.”
Twitter, which is based in San Francisco, had confirmed the meeting with the board on Thursday in an email promising an “open conversation and Q&A” with Twitter staff, including the new trust manager. and security, Ella Irwin.
It happened on the same day that three board members announced they were stepping down in a public statement posted to Twitter which said that “contrary to Elon Musk’s claims, the safety and well-being of Twitter users is in decline”.
These former council members quickly became the target of online attacks after Musk amplified their criticism and former Twitter executives for not doing enough to stop the sexual exploitation of children on the platform.
“It’s a crime that they refused to take action against child exploitation for years!” Musk tweeted.
A growing number of attacks on the council has raised concerns among some Remainers who emailed Twitter on Monday demanding the company stop misrepresenting its role.
These false accusations by Twitter executives “endangered current and former Council members,” the email said.
In fact, the Trust and Safety Council had among its advisory groups a group that focused on child exploitation. This included the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, the Rati Foundation and YAKIN, or Youth Adult Survivors & Kin in Need.