Two Safety Executives Leave Twitter Amid Content Moderation Concerns

In a double blow to Twitter, two key safety leaders have left the company within days. The first departure came from Twitter’s head of trust and safety, Ella Irwin, who resigned on Thursday evening following a public disagreement with owner Elon Musk over a content moderation decision. 

The incident involved a video by Matt Walsh, a far-right personality known for attacking transgender individuals, which Irwin’s team determined violated Twitter’s hate speech rules. 

Musk has been promoting Twitter as a venue for what he calls free speech, attracting more right-wing, often anti-transgender personalities like Tucker Carlson and Ron DeSantis. The company also recently announced a content deal with The Daily Wire. Jeremy Boreing, whose thread on the video appears above, works for The Daily Wire.

The Twitter owner publicly criticized the decision made by Twitter staff to remove the video, calling it a “mistake.”

Irwin previously replaced Yoel Roth. He was among the few executives from the company’s pre-Musk previous era who still tried to work with Musk. But that didn’t last long, Roth left the company in November 2022, less than a month after Musk took over.

In April, Twitter quietly removed its policy on hate speech that protects trans people from misgendering and deadnaming. The policy still prohibits direct attacks based on various attributes, including gender identity. 

On Friday, just a day after Irwin’s departure, A.J. Brown, Twitter’s head of brand safety and ad quality, has also decided to leave the company. Brown played a crucial role in ensuring that ads did not appear alongside inappropriate content. 

His departure raises concerns for incoming CEO Linda Yaccarino, who is faced with the task of addressing Twitter’s struggles in retaining advertisers. The platform has faced skepticism from advertisers since the acquisition by Musk, particularly due to the mass layoffs, Musk’s erratic decision-making, and concerns on the rise of hate speech in the platform.

The resignations of two safety leaders in quick succession highlight a still ongoing turbulence at the platform. Additionally, the inconsistency and ambiguity surrounding Twitter’s content moderation have further fueled concerns about the platform’s ability to maintain a safe and inclusive environment.

Information for this story was found via Axios, Reuters, Twitter, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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