Twitter CEO Elon Musk accused BBC journalist James Clayton of lying during a live interview on Twitter Spaces. The journalist had enquired about Musk’s plan to address reported incidents of hate speech on Twitter but failed to provide specific examples when asked by Musk.
A BBC report has in fact cited comprehensive studies and anecdotal evidence that indicated a rise in hate speech during Musk’s tenure. The report revealed that previously banned “fringe characters” had been restored under the current management.
Referring to research by the Institute of Strategic Dialogue (ISD), the BBC report said anti-Semitic tweets had doubled from June 2022 to February 2023. The research also found an increase of nearly 70% in Islamic State accounts, which had previously been reduced through account bans on Twitter.
The Centre for Countering Digital Hate, a London-based campaign group, also found a significant increase in slurs following Musk’s takeover of Twitter, according to the BBC report.
Musk, who also serves as the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, acquired Twitter for $44 billion in October. The interview took place at the company’s headquarters in San Francisco and also covered topics such as mass layoffs, misinformation, and Musk’s work habits.