Three leaders who met with Elon Musk on Monday claim he committed to them that by the end of the week, Twitter Inc.’s new owner will restore content moderation tools that had been restricted for some employees.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Color of Change, and the Anti-Defamation League are some of the top racial justice groups in the US. Musk committed at a Zoom meeting with their leaders.
Concerns about Musk’s plans to loosen speech restrictions on the site and reinstate the accounts of banned users have been highlighted by civil rights organisations.
According to reports, Twitter significantly reduced last week the number of users who could access the dashboard of tools that its Trust and Safety team uses to enact policy changes.
In a tweet earlier on Wednesday, Musk said that until he has developed a clear procedure, “which will take at least a few more weeks,” he won’t permit anyone who broke Twitter’s rules to return to the platform. Twitter opted not to respond.
Musk communicated with three leaders
Yael Eisenstadt from the ADL, Jessica Gonzalez of the digital rights organisation Free Press, and Rashad Robinson of Color of Change, who were all present as representatives, claimed that Musk acknowledged their worries about the platform and pledged to cooperate.
Musk, the single Twitter representative, stated during the 45-minute virtual call that he would develop speech policies to safeguard marginalised communities and increase transparency in decisions regarding restoring suspended user accounts. Musk implied that this would likely include Donald Trump, though no one specifically mentioned him.
“He said he would continue consulting with the people of color, religious minorities, and people most impacted by hate and disinformation on the platform,” mentioned Free Press’s Gonzalez.
They added that Musk invited them to join a committee for content management that deals with users and expression on the site.
Musk hasn’t provided any information about the prospective council, but he stated that he wants it to represent a variety of viewpoints.
Although it is currently unknown who else he would add from across the ideological spectrum, his invitation to the civil rights leaders indicates that he aims to represent the voices of religious and racial minorities.
Three main demands for Twitter
Musk complied with the three main demands made by the activists during the meeting: civil rights organisations should be included on the content moderation council, and there should be transparency about the reinstatement of Twitter accounts.
Vice President of ADL Eisenstadt predicted that her organisation would accept the offer, but some guests stated they would wait until they knew more about the structure, procedures, and council members.
Color of Change President Robinson commented it’s a “really unclear idea right now,” and Musk didn’t inform more on the council’s structure during the conversation on call.
Robinson told Musk that extremists shouldn’t be included on the council. Some people have sought “to make some people invisible in our society, to create deep levels of harm, to incite violence,” he said. “The truth is, no matter what he says on Twitter or at a meeting, it doesn’t matter — it matters what he does,” said Free Press’s Gonzalez. “That’s what we’ll be tracking.”