EU: Twitter takes longer to review hate content

LONDON (HPD) — Twitter took longer to review hateful content and removed fewer such posts in 2022 compared to the previous year, according to European Union data released Thursday.

The EU numbers were published as part of an annual assessment of compliance by online platforms with the 27-nation bloc’s code of conduct against disinformation.

Twitter was not the only one. Most other tech companies registered to the code — which is voluntary — fared worse. But the numbers portend trouble for Twitter to comply with tough new EU rules after owner Elon Musk laid off many of the platform’s 7,500 full-time workers and an untold number of contractors responsible for content moderation and other crucial tasks.

The EU report, carried out over six weeks a few months ago, found that Twitter analyzed just over half of the notifications it received about illegal intolerant speech in 24 hours, down from 82% in 2021.

By comparison, the number of Facebook flagged posts reviewed in 24 hours fell to 64%, Instagram flagged to 56.9% and YouTube to 83.3%. With 92%, TikTok was the only company to improve.

The amount of bigot speech Twitter removed after being reported dropped to 45.4% from 49.8% a year earlier. TikTok’s removal rate fell by a quarter to 60%, while Facebook and Instagram saw only minimal drops. YouTube was the only platform that increased the rate with 90%.

“It is worrying to see a downward trend in the review of notifications related to illegal bigot language by social media,” European Commission Vice President Vera Jourova tweeted. “The online intolerant speech is a coup from a digital age and platforms must live up to their commitments.”

Twitter did not respond to a request for comment. Emails sent to different employees of the company’s European communications team bounced back with a notification that they were not delivered.

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