Influencers debate leaving Twitter, but where would they go? – The Denver Post


PHILADELPHIA — Pariss Chandler built a community for Black tech workers on Twitter that eventually became the foundation for her own recruitment company.

Now she’s afraid it could all fall apart if Twitter becomes a haven for racist and toxic speech under the control of Elon Musk, a serial provocateur who has indicated he could loosen content rules.

With Twitter driving most of her business, Chandler sees no good alternative as she watches the uncertainty play out.

“Before Elon took over, I felt like the team was working to make Twitter a safer platform, and now they are kind of not there. I don’t know what’s going on internally. I have lost hope in that,” said Chandler, 31, founder of Black Tech Pipeline, a jobs board and recruitment website. “I’m both sad and terrified for Twitter, both for the employees and also the users.”

Those qualms are weighing on many people who have come to rely on Twitter, a relatively small but mighty platform that has become a digital public square of sorts for influencers, policymakers, journalists and other thought leaders.

Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, took over Twitter last week in a $44 billion deal, immediately making his unpredictable style felt.

Just days later, he had tweeted a link to a story from a little-known news outlet that made a dubious claim about the violent attack on Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband at their California home. He soon deleted it, but it was a worrying start to his tenure for those concerned about the spread of disinformation online.

Musk has also signaled his intent to loosen the guardrails on hate speech, and perhaps allow former President Donald Trump and other banned commentators to return. He tempered the thought after the deal closed, however, pledging to form a “content moderation council” and not allow anyone who has been kicked off the site to return until it sets up procedures on how to do that.

Yet the use of racial slurs quickly exploded in an apparent test of his tolerance level.

“Folks, it’s getting ugly here. I am not really sure what my plan is. Stay or go?” Jennifer Taub, a law professor and author with about a quarter million followers, said Sunday, as she tweeted out a link to her Facebook page in case she leaves Twitter.


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