One day before the U.S. midterm elections, Musk inexplicably waded into the political fray, throwing his weight behind Republicans. “Shared power curbs the worst excesses of both parties, therefore I recommend voting for a Republican Congress, given that the Presidency is Democratic,” Musk wrote. Musk isn’t the first tech CEO to hold political beliefs, but his last-minute advocacy shows that he isn’t interested in being “politically neutral,” no matter how he frames it.

For Twitter to deserve public trust, it must be politically neutral, which effectively means upsetting the far right and the far left equally

“With early voting underway in the US, our efforts on election integrity — including harmful misinformation that can suppress the vote and combatting state-backed information operations — remain a top priority” Roth said.

Here are the facts about where Twitter’s Trust & Safety and moderation capacity stands today:

tl;dr: While we said goodbye to incredibly talented friends and colleagues yesterday, our core moderation capabilities remain in place.

Misinformation with domestic origins is a massive concern this election cycle, but Putin allies in Russia are proactively scaremongering around their own efforts to undermine U.S. elections. Russian entrepreneur Yevgeny Prigozhin boasted that “we have interfered, are interfering and will interfere” in U.S. politics, though ominous statements are certainly cheaper than the hiring necessary to see that agenda through, likely to similar effect. Meta’s head of Security Policy Nathaniel Gleicher made some good points on that front:

3/ Threat actors try perception hacking to trick the public & the media into doing the deception for them. Don’t fall for it. That includes not amplifying those claims — and asking for evidence to back them up.

But most political misinformation isn’t advertising, which must be submitted and reviewed. The vast majority of political conspiracies and misleading claims just float along with the massive bulk of normal user-generated content that companies haphazardly sift through. Most of it is never reviewed at all.

Nothing we’ve seen so far inspires confidence that Twitter’s new owner will rise to the occasion, whatever challenges for Twitter — and perils for American democracy — that this week presents.

Elon Musk’s Twitter faces US midterm elections, his first high-stakes test by Taylor Hatmaker originally published on TechCrunch

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