Elon Musk, Twitter’s CEO, pressed a BBC journalist to claim that the BBC has seen a rise of hateful content since Musk’s Oct. 2022 acquisition.
Musk challenged James Clayton, a BBC interviewer, to define hateful content. Clayton replied that he meant language which is “slightly racist or sexist”.
Musk asked, “So you think that if something’s’slightly sexual’ it should be prohibited?” Musk asked, “Is that what your saying?”
Clayton stated, “I’m not saying any thing.”
“I want to understand what you mean when you say hateful content. I need specific examples. You said that hateful content is anything that is slightly sexist. Musk asked.
Musk asked Clayton to give him a “single example” of hateful content. Clayton stated that he hasn’t used the “For You” tab on his Twitter account for several weeks because he doesn’t like it.
“But wait a minute. Musk stated that you claimed to have seen more hateful content, but could not name one.
He said, “I don’t know if I’ve used that feed in the past three to four weeks.”
Musk interrupted, “Well then, how did you see that hateful content?”
Clayton replied, “Because Twitter has been my main source of communication since the beginning of this six-month period,”
“Well then, sir. That you don’t understand what you’re talking… That’s false. Musk stated, “You just lied.”
Clayton stated that there had been a rise of hateful content on Twitter since Musk’s arrival.
Musk stated, “Look, people will tell all kinds of nonsense. I’m literally asking you for one example and you can’t give one.”
According to The New York Times, December saw a spike in hateful comments directed at black Americans, Jews, and gay men by researchers from the Center for Countering Digital Hate, and the Anti-Defamation League. Anti-Semitic posts rose 61 percent and slurs against Blacks increased from an average 1,282 instances per Day to 3,876.
These findings were previously challenged by Musk when Adam Schiff, a Democratic California Rep., cited them in December. At the time, Twitter CEO Musk claimed that hate speech impressions had decreased by one third since his takeover.