STATEMENT: Elon Musk’s Pre-Election Day Twitter Firings Give a Green Light to Those Looking To Undermine the Integrity of Our Elections Online
Washington, D.C. — Today, Elon Musk laid off a significant portion of Twitter’s staff. Following the announcement of the layoffs, Patrick Gaspard, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
Elon Musk is demonstrably weakening Twitter’s content moderation capacity right before critical election—and just as we’re seeing a spike in toxic attacks, including Musk’s own tweet peddling a conspiracy theory about the heinous attack on Paul Pelosi. Many of the laid-off staff were essential to enforcing anti-hate policies and keeping Twitter’s key technical systems for stopping harassment and disinformation up and running.
Disturbingly, Musk’s takeover of Twitter comes as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the federal government have reduced efforts to combat disinformation and attacks on election officials. We need more, not less, of a united effort from election officials, public figures, and all parts of government to ensure the security of our elections.
Millions of Americans are casting their ballots, and millions more will go to the polls on Tuesday to vote for what might be the most critical midterm election for American democracy. For more than a decade now, Twitter has played a powerful role in shaping political discourse and thought. Decimating Twitter’s staff and tools ahead of Election Day is a green light for those looking to abuse the platform to undermine the integrity of our elections.
We are on the brink of a democratic crisis. To preserve American democracy and save lives, we need tech companies, their advertisers, and people from all walks of American life to hold social media companies accountable for the disinformation and hate that is spread on their platforms.
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