The social network formerly known as Twitter is hiring again – and you can partly thank fears about the 2024 presidential election.
X – which axed 80% of its staff under its previous moniker after Elon Musk took it private – has already hired a handful of new employees and is interviewing dozens more to improve policing of bogus posts on the platform, On The Money has learned.
The plan is to build out X’s so-called “Trust and Safety” team that monitors disinformation – a key threat for the 2024 election with the rising sophistication of artificial intelligence and its ability to create deepfakes, insiders said.
Bringing back content moderators is a critical part of the plan, with full-time openings that include a head of civic integrity. X also will be looking for election help from contractors, sources said.
Among the tools X plans to unveil is a version of its “Community Notes” feature – which enables users to flag AI generated images and can help provide another side to any tweet — this time for political ads, according to sources.
This week, ads for brands including Adobe, Gilead Sciences, NYU Langone Hospital and NCTA-The Internet and Television Association reportedly were run on X alongside tweets from an account that promoted neo-Nazi views.
In response, spokespeople for Gilead and NCTA said they had paused ad spending on X. X didn’t immediately comment on the snafu.
More broadly, while X officials have vowed not to censor news outlets, there will be questions about what posts are fake — and whether to delete them.
“Something like the Hunter Biden story being silenced days before the election won’t happen again,” said Joel Thayer, President of Digital Progress Institute, referring to Twitter’s notorious censoring of The Post’s coverage of Hunter Biden’s laptop scandal.
But mechanisms are still at play to silence or amplify voices,” Thayer added. “It’s clear that Elon Musk is actually more involved in the curation process in favor of news and news agencies he likes and has shown a willingness to silence those he doesn’t. But Elon Musk isn’t the only one sitting there.”
Last week, X CEO Linda Yaccarino told CNBC in an interview that the company was looking to hire again.
“I get to come in and shift from this cost discipline to growth and what does growth mean? Growth means hiring,” Yaccarino said.
In addition to a report from The Washington Post that X was throttling traffic to websites like Meta and news organizations like The New York Times that Musk has a personal aversion to, Thayer pointed to a recent election as cause for alarm.
The platform suffered its first major election snafu in Turkey earlier this year, when the company censored posts criticizing incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan after being threatened with a shutdown.
“The choice is to have Twitter throttled in its entirety or limit access to some tweets,” Musk said. “Which one do you want?”
Musk’s buckling under pressure alarmed free speech advocates who fear Musk may be willing to comply in other situations where the stakes are even bigger..
“There is a balance that can be struck between figuring out how to point out misinformation and still letting people participate in discourse freely,” Collier Fernekes, founder of Fern Strategies told On The Money.
“Social media needs to be clear cut about what they’re taking down and why — and figuring those terms of service out ahead of time.”
Source by [New York Post]