Australia threatens to fine Twitter over hate speech

Australia’s eSafety Commissioner’s office has questioned Twitter’s content moderation practices and enforcement of its own policy against hateful conduct through a press release on Thursday, after being the most complained about platform.

“eSafety received more complaints about online hate on Twitter in the past 12 months than any other platform and has received an increasing number of reports of serious online abuse since Elon Musk‘s takeover of the company in October, 2022,” the press release stated.

The social media platform was sent a legal notice by the office of eSafety Commissioner, and has 28 days to respond to the online safety Commissioner, or it could face penalties of up to $475,300 a day for continuing breaches.

“Twitter appears to have dropped the ball on tackling hate, the reinstatement of some of these previously banned accounts has emboldened extreme polarizers, peddlers of outrage and hate, including neo-Nazis both in Australia and overseas,” said Commissioner Julie Inman Grant.

There has been rising demand for a campaign by eSafety to make Twitter, which has less users than TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram, more accountable.

Right after Musk bought of the platform in 2022, Twitter’s head of trust and safety, Yoel Roth, resigned, and following in her footsteps, Twitter’s second head of trust and safety, Ella Irwin.

Irwin, who was assigned with content moderation, has been criticized by Musk prior to her resignation over a content moderation decision.

Irwin’s resignation also followed Twitter pulling out of the European Union’s voluntary code to fight disinformation.

Musk has cut over 75 percent of Twitter’s staff since his take over, including teams charged with tracking abuse.

Leave a comment