Overnight Technology

Hillicon Valley — Musk shares new ‘hate tweet’ rules

The Twitter application is seen on a digital device, April 25, 2022, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Twitter CEO Elon Musk says “hate tweets” will be demonetized on the platform, but users will still be able to find them if they want.

Meanwhile, a new poll found more than half of Americans said they wouldn’t buy items from advertisers that promote them on platforms with hate speech.

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Musk: Hate speech to be ‘deboosted’

Tweets that spread hate speech will be “deboosted & demonetized,” but will still be available on the platform if sought out, Twitter CEO Elon Musk said Friday.  

It is the latest guidance issued by the billionaire who took over the company at the end of October on how content will be moderated on the platform.

  • “New Twitter policy is freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach,” Musk tweeted.
  • “Negative/hate tweets will be max deboosted & demonetized, so no ads or other revenue to Twitter. You won’t find the tweet unless you specifically seek it out, which is no different from rest of Internet,” he added.  

Advocacy groups warned that Musk’s plan to create a “free speech” platform, with less content moderation measures in place, could lead to more hate speech and misinformation spreading on the site.  

Read more here

Consumer boycott on hate speech

Just over half of Americans say they would not purchase items sold by advertisers promoting themselves on platforms that contain hate speech, according to a Morning Consult poll released Thursday. 

  • Fifty-two percent of respondents to the online poll said they wouldn’t purchase from advertisers that use such platforms for marketing, while the same proportion said they would feel “very unfavorable” toward such advertisers.
  • Nearly half, 49 percent, of the 2,209 Americans surveyed Nov. 9-14 said they would feel “very unfavorable” toward advertisers who use platforms where misinformation and bots are prominent.
  • Forty-five percent of respondents said they wouldn’t purchase from the advertisers using such sites. 

The poll results come amid Elon Musk’s high-profile takeover of Twitter starting late last month, which has sparked concerns about hate speech and misinformation rising on the platform.

Musk has said its content moderation policies have not changed, though roughly half of Twitter’s staff has been laid off and a number of advertisers have fled amid the takeover. 

Read more here

FORMER SPACEX STAFF ALLEGEDLY FIRED FOR RAISING CONCERNS

Several former SpaceX employees filed unfair labor practice charges against the company with the National Labor Relations Board on Wednesday, alleging they were fired for raising concerns about CEO Elon Musk. 

The former employees were part of a group that sent a letter to SpaceX’s executive team about Musk, expressing their concerns about recent sexual harassment allegations against the CEO and his behavior on Twitter, according to the employees’ attorneys. 

The group reportedly said in the letter that Musk’s behavior was hurting SpaceX’s reputation and culture and called on the company to condemn Musk’s “harmful” activity on Twitter and hold its leadership accountable.  

Five employees were fired the day after the letter went out, with four more being fired within the next two months, the attorneys alleged. 

Read more here.

DOJ INVESTIGATING TICKETMASTER

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has opened an investigation into Live Nation Entertainment, the owner of Ticketmaster, according to The New York Times

The investigation predates Ticketmaster’s disastrous attempt this week to sell tickets to Taylor Swift’s latest tour, with the DOJ’s antitrust division contacting music venues and players about Live Nation over the last few months, the Times reported. 

The DOJ is reportedly investigating whether the company has a monopoly on the market. 

Ticketmaster faced well-publicized backlash earlier this week after its site crashed as Swift fans participated in a pre-sale for tickets to her “Eras Tour,” the singer’s first since 2018. The ticketing company was forced to delay other pre-sales and eventually canceled the public sale for the tour. 

Read more here.  

👾 BITS & PIECES

An op-ed to chew on: A 2024 reminder: Facebook isn’t fact-checking Trump or any other politician

Notable links from around the web: 

Musk summons engineers to Twitter HQ as millions await platform’s collapse (The New York Times / Joseph Menn and Cat Zakrzewski) 

Taylor Swift is just as mad at Ticketmaster as you are (The Verge / Mitchell Clark) 

With 5,900 tech jobs already gone, a Seattle correction looks real (The Seattle Times / Paul Roberts)

📺 Lighter click: The math checks out

One more thing: Online grocery shopping presses on

The online shopping revolution started, and ended, without the neighborhood supermarket.   

And then, COVID-19 arrived in the aisles.  

The share of groceries purchased online nearly tripled from 3 percent in 2019 to 8 percent in 2020, as homebound consumers scoured Amazon and Walmart websites for precious pallets of toilet paper and sanitizer and soup.   

Customers have returned to the malls. But the online supermarket marches on, ringing up 10 percent of all grocery sales in 2021 and 11 percent in 2022.   

Online grocery shopping “was one of the largest mass-adoption events we have ever seen,” said David Bishop of Brick Meets Click, an online supermarket analyst. “It’s too big for any grocer to ignore.”  

Read more here.  

That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s Technology and Cybersecurity pages for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you next week.

Tags Elon Musk Elon Musk hate speech SpaceX Ticketmaster Twitter

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