The Twitter toxic content and spam teams are being combined, following allegations that the company didn’t take seriously its attempts to address both bots and security vulnerabilities.
We yesterday learned that the company’s former head of security filed an 84-page complaint in which he accused the company of “extreme, egregious deficiencies” …
Twitter currently has separate teams working on reducing toxic content and spam, but is now merging them into one, according to a memo seen by Reuters.
The social media company will combine its health experience team, which works on reducing misinformation and harmful content, with the Twitter service team, which is responsible for reviewing profiles that users report and taking down spam accounts. The new group will be called “Health Products and Services (HPS),” according to the email to employees.
Ella Irwin, vice president of product for health and Twitter service, who joined the company in June, will lead the HPS team.
“We need teams to focus on specific problems, working together as one team and no longer operating in silos,” Irwin wrote in the email to staff, adding the team will “ruthlessly prioritize” its projects.
Twitter has long had a major problem on both fronts. It is inundated with trolls, who launch personal attacks against users posting content they oppose. Women are disproportionately targeted in this way, including threats of violence.
On the spam side, the company still can’t keep up with the number of bot accounts, despite saying that it removes1 million of them per day.
The bot issue has come under the spotlight as Elon Musk tries to use it as an excuse for withdrawing from a commitment he made to buy the company. Despite having signed a contract that said that the deal was unconditional, and he was waiving his right to do due diligence in return for a speedy transaction, he later claimed that Twitter had many more bot accounts than the 5% the company admitted.
Twitter is taking Musk to court for breach of contract over the $44B deal. He is already on the hook for a $1B penalty clause if he fails to complete the acquisition, but Twitter is confident that a court will oblige him to fulfill his contractual obligation to buy the shares at the agreed price.
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