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Twitter has approved 83% of censorship requests under Elon Musk: report

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Twitter is complying with more government requests to censor content on its platform, including requests from authoritarian countries, according to data compiled by the nonprofit organization Rest of World. The data reveals that since Elon Musk took over, Twitter has approved 83% of requests to restrict content, up from around 51% under the previous leadership.

This trend is notable considering Musk’s promised to bring freedom of speech to the platform. Among the prominent governments that have requested takedowns are India and Turkey, both of which have faced repeated criticism for silencing dissent.

Most recently, Twitter restricted content ahead of Turkey’s high-profile presidential election, following threats from the Turkish government to shut down the social media platform.

Notably, the current Turkish government is led by the leading contender President Erdogan in the upcoming election, which is now headed for a runoff.

Twitter’s actions drew criticism from prominent figures such as Turkish-born NBA player Enes Kanter Freedom.

“He picked business and money over his morals and principles… I don’t want to hear about Elon Musk talking about free speech ever again,” Freedom stated

Twitter stated that the content was censored in Turkey to ensure the availability of its service in the country.

While some experts argue that this sets a dangerous precedent for other countries, it is not the first time such actions have occurred. In India, Twitter removed nearly all content related to a BBC documentary deemed critical of the country’s leader, Narendra Modi.

Modi is trying to block the narrative of his alleged complicity in inter-communal riots that left more than 1,000 people dead in 2002. As the country approaches elections next year, India has also moved to censor the documentary on other platforms.

Mehdi Hassan, host of “The Mehdi Hasan Show” on Peacock, remarked speaking of Musk, “He’s using Twitter to help one of the most right-wing governments censor speech.”

Prior to Musk’s tenure at Twitter, the platform complied with about 20% of takedown requests from the Indian government. Following massive layoffs that reduced 90 percent of Twitter India’s staff, the platform appears to have become far more obliging in the face of government pressure, as its actions to censor its critics now show, as reported by The Intercept.

In response to pushback, Musk stated, “The rules in India for what can appear on social media are quite strict, and we can’t go beyond the laws of a country.”

Musk further remarked that given the alternative to comply with the law or “let Twitter employees go to jail,” Twitter will comply.

The Rest of World report also documented a significant number of censorship requests from Germany, Brazil, France, Japan and Indonesia among other countries that have passed restrictive speech laws.

In the meantime, Musk has repeatedly stated that his platform would not “censor” on behalf of the U.S. government saying that “state censorship is in direct violation of the Constitution of the United States.”

*** CORRECTION: A previous version of this story had stated Twitter’s compliance to India’s take down requests had risen to 90 percent. This has been corrected to state that massive layoffs rather reduced 90 percent of Twitter India’s staff, as reported by The Intercept.

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UNDER ELON MUSK, TWITTER HAS COMPLIED WITH A RECORD NUMBER OF GOVERNMENT REQUESTS TO CENSOR CONTENT ON THE PLATFORM INCLUDING REQUESTS FROM AUTHORITARIAN COUNTRIES

 

THAT’S ACCORDING TO TWITTER DATA COMPILED BY THE NON PROFIT REST OF WORLD .. IT REVEALS THAT TWITTER HAS APPROVED 83% OF REQUESTS TO RESTRICT CONTENT ON THE PLATFORM SINCE MUSK TOOK OVER – UP FROM AROUND 50% UNDER TWITTER’S OLD LEADERSHIP

 

THIS DESPITE MUSK PROMISING TO BRING FREEDOM OF SPEECH TO THE PLATFORM. AMONG THE MOST PROMINENT GOVERNMENTS THAT HAVE ASKED FOR TAKEDOWNS ARE INDIA AND TURKEY, TWO COUNTRIES THAT HAVE FACED REPEATED CRITICISM FOR SILENCING DISSENT

 

MOST RECENTLY, TWITTER RESTRICTED CONTENT AHEAD OF TURKEY’S HIGH PROFILE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION AFTER THE TURKISH GOVERNMENT THREATENED TO SHUT THE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM DOWN – IT’S IMPORTANT TO NOTE TURKEY’S GOVERNMENT IS LED RIGHT NOW BY THE LEADING CONTENDER IN THAT ELECTION WHICH IS NOW HEADED FOR A RUNOFF…

 

ENES KANTER: HE PICKED BUSINESS AND MONEY OVER HIS MORALS AND PRINCIPLES..I DON’T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT ELON MUSK TALKING ABOUT FREE SPEECH EVER AGAIN”

 

TWITTER SAID THEY CENSORED THE CONTENT IN TURKEY TO KEEP THE SERVICE THERE AVAILABLE

 

WHILE SOME EXPERTS SAY THAT SETS A DANGEROUS PRECEDENT FOR OTHER COUNTRIES, IT’S NOT THE FIRST TIME THIS HAS HAPPENED

 

IN INDIA TWITTER REMOVED NEARLY ALL CONTENT RELATING TO A BBC DOCUMENTARY DEEMED CRITICAL OF THE COUNTRY’S LEADER NARENDRA MODI – MODI IS TRYING TO BLOCK THE NARRATIVE OF HIS ALLEGED COMPLICITY IN INTER COMMUNAL RIOTS THAT LEFT MORE THAN 1000 PEOPLE DEAD IN 2002 – INDIA HAS ALSO MOVED TO CENSORED THE DOCUMENTARY ON OTHER PLATFORMS AS THE COUNTRY APPROACHES ELECTIONS NEXT YEAR

 

MEHDI HASSAN: YOU’RE SAYING HE’S GOOD FOR TWITTER AND GOOD FOR SPEECH.. I’M SAYING HE’S USING TWITTER TO HELP ONE OF THE MOST RIGHT WING GOVERNMENTS CENSOR SPEECH…

 

TO THAT MUSK SAID QUOTE “THE RULES IN INDIA FOR WHAT CAN APPEAR ON SOCIAL MEDIA ARE QUITE STRICT, AND WE CAN’T GO BEYOND THE LAWS OF A COUNTRY”

 

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