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Australia could fine up to €430,000 per day for tweeting hate speech

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The Australian government has issued a legal warning to Twitter over an increase in reported hate speech since billionaire Elon Musk took over the platform, threatening six-figure daily fines if Twitter fails to provide information about what it “has done to tackle hate online”.


  • I’Electronic Safety Commissioner It said in a press release that it had received more complaints about Twitter than any other social network in the past year, with an increase after Elon Musk — who reinstated some 62,000 banned or suspended users — bought the platform and took over it last October.
  • The department said the increase in hate speech came as Mr. Musk cut Twitter’s staff by about 80%, which cut back on members of its trust and safety teams.
  • If Twitter does not respond to the notification within 28 days, the Cyber ​​Safety Commissioner said it could face a maximum daily monetary penalty of around A$700,000, or €430,000, as long as the breach continues. will continue.
  • Forbes has reached out to Twitter for comment.

Important quote

Twitter seems to have failed the war against hate. A third of all online hate complaints reported to us now happen on Twitter. We are also aware of reports that reinstatement of some of these previously banned accounts has emboldened extreme polarizers and peddlers of anger and hate, including neo-Nazis, in Australia and abroad. Julie Inman Grant, Australian Cyber ​​Security Commissioner, said in the statement.

main context

Since Mr. Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion in October, he has made free speech one of his guiding principles, previously saying that “free speech is paramount.” But the researchers found that Musk’s focus on free speech led to a significant increase in hate speech. Within 12 hours of Musk’s purchase of Twitter, use of the word “nigga” increased nearly 500%, according to the Brookings Institution. The same study found that in the following week, tweets containing the word “Jew” increased by fivefold. The increases didn’t go away shortly after the company’s acquisition, either: A University of Southern California study published in April showed that since Musk took over the platform, hateful users have become more hateful and general dislike on the social network has increased. Advertising revenue fell after Musk’s acquisition. CNN reported that in January, more than half of Twitter’s top advertisers stopped spending on the platform, in part due to cuts to its content moderation staff and a series of controversial policies.

the shadow

This is not the first time Australia has issued an online hate warning to Twitter. In February, the ministry asked Twitter, TikTok, Google, YouTube, Twitch and Discord what steps they were taking to address “pedophile sexual exploitation and abuse, sextortion and promotion of harmful content” by the platforms’ algorithms. In the statement, the ministry said it had received responses to the notice and was “evaluating the responses” before releasing the information.

Translated article from the American magazine Forbes – Author: Molly Bohannon

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