Twitter Criticized for Allowing Texas Shooting Images to Spread

Twitter, like other social media companies, has again found itself in a position similar to that of traditional newspaper editors. Newspapers and magazines generally discourage their readers from showing graphic images, but they make a few exceptions: Jet magazine wrote about him in 1955, when he was beaten to death in 1955. Like when I posted the public coffin image of 14-year-old black boy Emmett Till. Mississippi, to illustrate the horrors of the Jim Crow-era South.

However, unlike newspaper and magazine publishers, technology companies like Twitter need a mix of automated systems and human content moderators to monitor millions of users and make decisions at scale. I have.

Other tech companies, such as Facebook parent company Meta and YouTube parent company Alphabet, are investing in large teams to reduce the spread of violent images on their platforms. Twitter, meanwhile, has scaled back content moderation since Musk bought the site at the end of October, laying off full-time employees and contractors on the Trust and Safety team that manages content moderation. . Musk, who calls himself a “free speech absolutist,” Said Last November, he said he set up a “content moderation council” to decide which posts should be kept and which should be removed.

Twitter, Alphabet and Meta did not respond to requests for comment.

Even before Musk took over, graphic content was never completely banned by Twitter. For example, the platform allows images of people killed or wounded in the war in Ukraine, claiming they are newsworthy and informative. The company may place warning labels or pop-ups on sensitive content and require users to opt-in to see the images.

Many users apparently circulated images of the massacre, including the bodies of the attackers, while others retweeted them to highlight the horror of gun violence. “NRA America,” read one of his tweets. “This will not go away,” said another. The New York Times does not link to social his media posts that contain graphic images.

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