Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk Further destroying the teams fighting misinformation on social media platforms is the outsourced moderators who learned that they were no longer in a job over the weekend.
Twitter and other large social media companies have heavily relied on contractors to track hate speech and other harmful content.
However, many of these content watchdogs left the organization before they could be reintroduced. Twitter fired much of its full-time workforce by email on Nov. 4 It is moving to eliminate untold numbers of contract jobs.
Melissa Ingle was a Twitter contractor who worked for over a year. She was among a few contractors who claimed they were fired without being notified on Saturday. She said she’s concerned that there’s going to be an increase in abuse on Twitter with the number of workers leaving.
“I love the platform and I really enjoyed working at the company and trying to make it better. And I’m just really fearful of what’s going to slip through the cracks,” She spoke Sunday.
Ingle, a data scientist, said she worked on the data and monitoring arm of Twitter’s civic integrity team. Her job was to create algorithms that could be used to detect political misinformation on Twitter in countries like the United States, Brazil, Japan and Argentina.
Ingle stated that she was “pretty sure I was done for” when she couldn’t access her work email Saturday. The notification from the contracting company she’d been hired by came two hours later.
“I’ll just be putting my resumes out there and talking to people,” She spoke. “I have two children. And I’m worried about being able to give them a nice Christmas, you know, and just mundane things like that, that are important. I just think it’s particularly heartless to do this at this time.”
Sarah Roberts is an associate professor at University of California, Los Angeles. She tweeted Sunday that she was content-moderation expert. “3,000+ contractor employees of Twitter were canned last night.”
Twitter hasn’t said how many contract workers it cut. The company gutted its communications department and hasn’t responded to media requests for information since Musk took over.
To keep Twitter running smoothly, contractors can also perform other tasks.
“All contractors are not content moderation agents,” Roberts said. “Contractors fulfill many key roles inside the company. But almost all moderation agents are contractors.”
After Musk purchased Twitter in October for $44 billion, the initial days were turbulent. dismissed its board of directors and top executivesThe billionaire Tesla CEO wanted to assure advertisers and civil rights groups that the platform would continue to fight hate.
That message was reiterated by Twitter’s then-head of content moderation, Yoel Roth, who tweeted that the Nov. 4 layoffs only affected “15% of our Trust & Safety organization (as opposed to approximately 50% cuts company-wide), with our front-line moderation staff experiencing the least impact.”
Roth since resigned from the companyHe joined a group of high-ranking leaders who had been charged with protecting privacy, cybersecurity, and adhering to regulations.
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