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31st Oct 2022

LeBron James calls on Elon Musk to act after use of n-word on Twitter increases by 500% since takeover

Charlie Herbert

Musk has said a “content moderation council” will be formed to make major content decisions.

LeBron James has called on Elon Musk to take action following a huge spike in the use of the n-word on the platform.

On Friday, it was confirmed that the Tesla CEO had officially purchased Twitter for $44 billion (£38 billion) following months of uncertainty over whether the deal would go through.

But research has found that in the 12 hours following Musk’s takeover of the social media site, the use of the n-word increased by nearly 500%, the Washington Post reports.

The newspaper also noted that several online trolling accounts called on others to use racist language in the aftermath of the deal.

One of the tweets reportedly read: “I can freely express how much I hate n—s now, thank you Elon.”

Sexist, anti-trans and homophobic tweets were also on the rise in the aftermath of Musk’s Twitter takeover.

Responding to the findings, basketball star James tweeted over the weekend: “I don’t know Elon Musk and, tbh, I could care less who owns Twitter.

“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 has previously labelled himself a “free speech absolutist”, saying that it is “important to the future of civilisation” to have a space where “a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner.”

The Tesla CEO said that a “content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints” would be formed to make major content decisions and to decide whether banned accounts should be reinstated.

A number of celebrities have decided to leave Twitter following Musk’s acquisition of the social platform last week.

Many are concerned that the Tesla CEO’s acquisition of the platform will lead to an increase in hate speech and abuse, due to his laissez-faire attitude to what should and shouldn’t be allowed on Twitter.

Voicing his uncertainty over whether to stay on Twitter or not, Frozen star Josh Gad tweeted: “Freedom of speech is great. Hate speech intended to incite harm, (with no consequences) ain’t what I signed up for.”

Musk is just days into the job but has already fired top execs, and changed its homepage for logged-out users.

Meanwhile, The Verge reports that, with the help of Tesla engineers he has brought into Twitter as advisors, Musk is also planning mass layoffs aimed at middle managers and engineers who haven’t recently contributed to the code base.

The news outlet states that the layoffs are expected to begin this week with managers already creating lists of employees to cut.

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