N-word usage on Twitter spiked 500% in hours after Elon Musk bought social network

N-word usage on Twitter spiked 500% in hours after Elon Musk bought social network
What is the future of Twitter under Elon Musk?

The usage of the n-word, a racist slur against Black people, spiked 500 per cent in the first few hours of Elon Musk's Twitter purchase.

Now, it's increasing the fears that the tech billionaire's pledge of unrestricted free speech could perpetuate a new wave of internet hate.

On Friday (28 October), Musk tweeted that he would make "no major content decisions or account reinstatements" until there is a new "moderation council."

He said that the council would have "widely diverse viewpoints."

Still, he offered no other information about who would be on it, how the members would be chosen, the authority it would have, and whether its ideas would be binding on the company.

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Speculation of widespread layoffs was also associated with Twitter's workforce. The Post released a story last week that explained that Musk told potential investors that he could see Twitter's staff being cut close to 75 per cent.

No layoffs were announced on Friday, and Twitter employees at its headquarters in San Francisco said they didn't hear any news from senior managers during the day.

Twitter did hear from the manufacturer General Motors, which told CNBC that it was temporarily pulling advertising on the platform until Musk's Twitter direction was more clear.

And on Thursday (27 October), Musk tried to alleviate advertiser worries in a tweeted letter, promising that the site would not become a "hellscape" or a "free-for-all" for "hate" and division in society.

But it seemingly became a reality after Musk's $44bin deal, as he became Twitter's owner, firing the chief executive officer, chief financial officer, chief policy officer, and the general counsel.

Musk's portrayal of himself as a "free speech absolutist" and his criticism of the company's previous leaders provoked bigotry online.

"Elon Musk taking over Twitter is one of the best things to happen in a long time!

“(Proceeds to say the word n**** 100+ times in one day),” one account wrote.

Another account added: "Elon now controls Twitter. Unleash the racial slurs. K**** AND N******," which are slurs for Jews and Black people.

"I can freely express how much I hate n****** … now, thank you, Elon," another said.

Despite this, it still is a cause of concern to many people, including NBA star LeBron James.

James took to his Twitter to share that it was "scary AF [as f–k]" seeing the amount of hate speech that he did on the platform.

"I don't know Elon Musk and, tbh, I could care less who owns Twitter," he tweeted on Saturday (29 October).

"But I will say that if this is true, I hope he and his people take this very seriously because this is scary AF. So many damn unfit people saying hate speech is free speech."

Musk responded to James and shared a thread by Yoel Roth, Twitter's head of safety and integrity.

"More than 50,000 Tweets repeatedly using a particular slur came from just 300 accounts," Roth wrote.

He continued: "Nearly all of these accounts are inauthentic. We've taken action to ban the users involved in this trolling campaign and will continue working to address this in the days to make Twitter safe and welcoming for everyone."

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