Addressing the concerns of activists and advertisers, Twitter’s head of the safety department said they’re well prepared to tackle potential misinformation during the upcoming elections.
Many have raised concerns about this due to the recent layoffs at Twitter, where half of the workforce was laid off. Yet, Twitter said the content moderation team was the less impacted one, with fewer layoffs than other departments.
Countering Misinformation on Elections
As expected, the new Twitter under Elon Musk’s leadership laid off around 50% of the workforce yesterday. This includes dumping certain employees in several departments and some departments altogether.
NBC News reported that Twitter’s curation team that worked to counter misinformation on the platform was fired entirely! And many of the engineering roles that deal with safety issues were also cut, and some were from the policy and communications.
All these layoffs from critical departments raised concerns about how Twitter would handle the misinformation on its platform, especially at the time of upcoming elections. As activists and advertisers pour in questions, Twitter’s head of safety Yoel Roth came in to defend the allegations.
With early voting underway in the US, our efforts on election integrity — including harmful misinformation that can suppress the vote and combatting state-backed information operations — remain a top priority.
— Yoel Roth (@yoyoel) November 4, 2022
He affirmed that his safety department was one of the fewer ones that had the least number of layoffs, thus no need to worry about their moderation work on the platform. Saying that election integrity is a “top priority” for the company, Roth said;
“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 further defended Musk’s decision to mass layoffs, calling it necessary. Musk had earlier revealed that there’s no choice for this, unfortunately, as the company is losing 4 million a day. Twitter had let go of thousands of employees across departments with about three months of severance pay.