+1 vote
in General Factchecking by Journeyman (2.3k points)
According to an article I found, since Elon Musk taking over Twitter has increased hate speech. The article states that the N-word has increased by 500% upon the arrival of Musk. There has been an increase in fake/troll accounts on Twitter saying offensive slurs. The article states that it may be because Elon is pushing to loosen the standard of harmful content on Twitter and get rid of censorship. What do you think?

6 Answers

+1 vote
by Journeyman (2.7k points)
selected by
Best answer

The claim is false, since Elon Musk has acquired Twitter the amount of hate speech on the platform has increased. The UCLA Bedari Kindness Institute ran a study that confirmed that hate speech has significantly increased since Elon Musk has bought Twitter, however, they could not provide a casual correlation to Musk's takeover and the increase in hate speech as more research is needed. Therefore, as of right now, the claim that Elon Musk is the reason that hate speech increased on Twitter is actually false, there is not enough evidence right now to suggest that.

A significant note in the research is that the hate speech was coming from a small group, rather than an increase in size of those promoting hate speech. 


by Genius (41.9k points)
Interesting fact-check explanation! So you're saying that post-Musk takeover of Twitter there has been an increase in hate speech, but it is not specifically because of Musk -- more of just a coincidence at this point?
+3 votes
by Apprentice (1.0k points)

Your claim is correct that since Elon Musk's acquirement of Twitter there has been an increase in hate speech on the platform. 

According to a WIRED article by Will Knight, researchers at Tuft University were able to conclude that 7 of the top 20 posts now include some kind of hate speech contrary to it having typically "one out of the three top 20 post". And according to multiple news outlets such as yahoo news and Forbes the n-word has seen a 500% increase as you claimed.

Here’s Proof Hate Speech Is More Viral on Elon Musk’s Twitter | WIRED

+1 vote
by Apprentice (1.6k points)

After Elon Musk took over the company, there has definitely be an increase in hate speech . There has been research done into the usage of hate speech on Twitter after Elon Musk. According to a CNN Article, which cites this research, “ The Center for Countering Digital Hate and Anti-Defamation League both said in reports that the volume of hate speech on Twitter has grown dramatically under Musk’s stewardship. Specifically, the Center for Countering Digital Hate said the daily use of the n-word under Musk is triple the 2022 average and the use of slurs against gay men and trans persons are up 58% and 62%, respectively.” This also corroborates with the evidence you have provided from the Brookings Institution.

However, I want to make one key observation about the claim. There is definitely a correlation between the increased hate speech and the arrival of Elon Musk. However, it can not be concluded that Elon Musk is the sole cause of this increased usage. As denoted in the claim, you stated “because of”, which indicates Elon Musk is the cause of the increased hate speech. In simpler words, even if the research finds that there was increased hate speech when Elon Musk took over, it is only a correlation between the events; not that one event necessarily caused the other. So, your claim is correct that there is a correlation but is it the sole cause, that difficult to tell.

Link to Article: https://www.cnn.com/2022/12/02/tech/twitter-hate-speech/index.html

+1 vote
by Novice (860 points)

This statement is true. Since Elon Musk bought twitter there has been a huge rise in hate speech especially against Black Americans and gay men as well as a rise in antisemitic posts (a rise of 61% in the two weeks following Musk's purchase of Twitter). Unfortunately hate speech was on the rise on twitter before Musk took over, but we did see a larger increase after he purchased twitter. Whether or not the rise in hate speech can be directly attributed to Musk's purchase can't necessarily be proven, however, the fact that there has been a rise in hate speech after he took control of the company is true.


not misinformation

+1 vote
by Apprentice (1.1k points)
This is true, since Elon Musk has been posting more on Twitter and putting out derogatory content, others have followed suit, especially those who admire Musk and follow his words. Slurs against gay men appeared on Twitter 2,506 times a day on average before Mr. Musk took over. Afterward, their use rose to 3,964 times a day.

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/02/technology/twitter-hate-speech.html
+1 vote
by Novice (590 points)

Although it was that there has been an overall decrease in hate speech. Antisemitic tweets specifically have risen noticeably. According to the Institute of Strategic Dialogue:

 "New research from CASM Technology and ISD has found a major and sustained spike in antisemitic posts on Twitter since the company’s takeover by Elon Musk on October 27, 2022." 

"The weekly average number of antisemitic tweets increasing by 106% (from 6,204 to 12,762), when comparing the three months before and after Musk’s acquisition"

source: https://www.isdglobal.org/digital_dispatches/understanding-antisemitism-on-twitter-after-musk/ 


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