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Friday, May 27, 2022

What will happen to #BlackTwitter when Elon Musk takes over? , fin24

Blackplanet? Tumblr? Or, god forbid – MySpace?

Those were some of the alternatives to Twitter that black users were considering leaving the social media platform following news that Elon Musk was buying it in a $44 billion (R700 billion) deal. The Tesla chief executive’s plan for the brand centers on fixing “free speech” problems, but his complaints rely heavily on the dog whistles of the political right’s quintessential online segment. This has worried black Twitter users, along with other minorities, that the floodgates are about to open up for harassment, abuse, and more.

A lot of Twitter’s left-wing users are already raving over the Musk deal. But the potential for the platform to lose many of its black users — or #BlackTwitter for those in the know — could mean a financial blow to the company, which has catapulted its social media app to prominence, at least in part because of cultural and social issues. saw. -Judicial discourse popularized by black users. Researchers at Old Dominion University and Radford University called African-American users “some of the most influential” on the app.

Diversity and inclusion advocate April Reigns said, “It’s all hypothetical right now, but worst-case scenario, I can see a mass exodus of people from completely marginalized communities, especially those with large platforms that already Targeted from Twitter.” A major influencer in the #BlackTwitter circle and the creator of the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag in 2015.

According to a 2018 Pew Research analysis, about 11% of Twitter users are black. But even the company itself has acknowledged their outside influence on the platform. Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said in a 2019 Essence Festival interview that #BlackTwitter is “such a powerful force.” A 2014 Pew study showed that black people spent more time on the social site – 22% of black internet users used Twitter at a higher level, compared to 16% of white people.

rampant racism

Now, black Twitter users are asking: “What has Elon Musk done in his life to show that he has the context or cultural aptitude to run an organization like this?” Government said.

Musk has the best track record on running among his current ventures. This month, electric-car maker Tesla revealed that it faced an investigation by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that predates a three-year-old investigation by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing. The state agency sued Tesla in February, saying the company ignored “massive racism” and years of complaints from black workers about racial slurs at its auto plant in Fremont, Calif.

Musk also calls himself a “free speech absolutist” and plans to take a minimalist approach to restrictions on the app. That prospect is already being celebrated by conservative activists and lawmakers, including Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri and high-ranking cable news host Tucker Carlson.

“I am against censorship that goes far beyond the law,” the Tesla CEO tweeted this week. Earlier this month, during a panel discussion at the Ted2022 conference, Musk said he would be “very reluctant to pull things off” and “very cautious with permanent sanctions – the timeout, I think, is better.”

What does free speech look like?

Under Musk, Twitter could bring back accounts the company had banned because they were used to harass others, spread misinformation or incite violence. For his part, former President Donald Trump, who has not been allowed on the platform since 2021, said this week that he would not return if his account was restored.

“One of my concerns is definitely what does free speech look like on stage?” said Sherrell Dorsey, founder and CEO of The Plug, a digital news platform covering the black innovation economy. “I am very concerned that free speech turns into open hate.”

The concerns come after years of criticism that the company was not doing enough to protect marginalized users. Research has shown that minorities, women and people from other marginalized backgrounds face abuse on social media sites such as Twitter – black women in particular have been targets of vitriol.

Amnesty International’s analysis of millions of posts found that one in 10 tweets that mentioned black women were abusive and problematic, compared to one in 15 for white women. Earlier this year, the Center for Countering Digital Hate reported 47% of accounts that sent misogynistic abuse directly to high-profile women like Vice President Kamala Harris and Lizzo were violated again. In the latest comments, 49% targeted a woman of color, and 41% included the word “bitch.”

And this week, Musk’s criticism of a content decision made by Twitter’s legal team followed a wave of derogatory tweets against the company’s top lawyer, Vijaya Gadde, a woman of color.

Twitter has made some efforts to reduce abuse. Last year, the company said it took “action” on a record number of accounts for violating its hate speech policies during the second half of 2020. In 2017, Twitter said it would hide content from abusive tweeters and prevent them from creating new accounts. A bid to clean up the app. But it remains to be seen whether such measures under Musk’s ownership will continue.


Researcher Meredith Clark defines #BlackTwitter as “a network of culturally connected communicators.” The platform is often used to bring attention to issues that affect black communities, he said as an assistant professor at the University of Virginia in an interview posted on the school’s website.

The community has had a nationwide impact in recent years in response to police violence against black people. The hashtags #ICantBreathe and #SayHerName flooded the site following the deaths of Eric Garner and Breonna Taylor, respectively. #BlackLivesMatter, which came to prominence following the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Travian Martin murder, was used nearly 48 million times on Twitter in the immediate aftermath of the killing of George Floyd in 2020.

Black users say it has also been a place of connection, reflection, nostalgia and humor. Andre Brock, an associate professor at Georgia Tech who studies #BlackTwitter, cites the camaraderie around the 2009 BET Awards, which took place just after the death of Michael Jackson, and the early days of the show “Scandal”. As examples where the stage is a “second screen” experience.

“These were moments where we shared our joy at something, our laughter at other things, our criticism of some other thing,” Brock said. He built the stage “in a place that was immediately fertile ground, then to say, building upon the influence of Ferguson, or Trayvon Martin,” he said.

The decision to leave the stage is complicated.

Growing a following on the app can provide avenues for jobs, advice and connections that might otherwise be closed to some people, said The Plug’s Dorsey. (He has no connection to Twitter’s Jack Dorsey.)

“I’m someone who is college educated, and graduate school educated—he has a certain level of accessibility,” she said. “My presence on stage still gives me access to people, organizations, institutions and opportunities.”

Reigns, who said “I am as I am now for my professional career” to Twitter, is considering leaving the app, even if it is ungrateful. His #OscarsSoWhite post made changes to the Academy Awards to make the voting body more diverse. Reigns said it would wait to see what changes would happen once the Musk deal becomes official.

Bridget Todd, creator and host of the No Girls on the Internet podcast and communications director for the women’s advocacy group UltraViolet, said the company is responsible for the users who have made the platform successful on the changes to some degree of accountability and transparency. will affect them. , Whatever happens, she doesn’t think this will be the end of the vibrancy that #BlackTwitter has created.

Todd said, “If there’s one thing I believe in, and there’s one thing that gives me great hope, it’s that as black people, we won’t always find a way out.” “We will always carve what we want from a space, even if that space goes out of its way to tell us over and over again, that it was not created in our minds, that they do not want us there, that they We’re not going to raise us.”

– With the help of grain plow.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
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