Elon Musk has begun addressing the issue of posting child sexual exploitation content on Twitter after years of the platform’s inactivity on the subject under past management. Previously, the platform did not comprehensively address the issue of publishing content that demonstrates the sexual exploitation of children.
The problem of publishing pornographic content showing child sexual exploitation (CSE) on various Internet resources is deeply disturbing. While many platforms are fighting this by using tools that allow them to find and remove such content, Twitter, before it was bought by Elon Musk, did not put any real effort into this for years.
Eliza Bleu, a survivor of human trafficking and an advocate for victims, has taken this fight to the next level. In an interview with Tesmanian, she said that for the past two years she has been trying to get Twitter to take concrete steps, while other advocates have been working on this for 10 years. All this time, Twitter has not actually done anything meaningful to combat the problem. For ten years, the platform has not had a proper reporting form for content containing child sexual abuse material.
Thanks to the efforts of Eliza and those who supported her, in February 2022, Twitter added a feature to easily report child sexual exploitation material, which was a huge victory in a years-long struggle. However, a few months later, Twitter “took the easy reporting system for minor survivors away.” This was deeply disturbing news, as it is difficult to find a reasonable reason why the ability for platform users to easily report about CSE content has been removed.
On October 28, Twitter, with all its problems, many of which were hidden, was sold to Elon Musk. Eliza now had to work with the new CEO to find a solution. Already on November 19, she shared the progress of their cooperation, emphasizing that the new management of the company takes the CSE problem seriously and published amazing news: the three most popular hashtags used to sell child sexual abuse material on Twitter are almost completely cleaned out.
Eliza also noted that last week Twitter also added a direct reporting option for child sexual exploitation (on tweets with content images/videos). This was not previously available and the reporting tool was difficult to find.
To those who aren’t aware yet, last week Twitter did add a direct reporting option for child sexual exploitation. (ONLY on tweets with content images/videos) this was not previously available and was a separate form that wasn’t easy to find.— Eliza (@elizableu) November 20, 2022
I’m grateful to see these changes. pic.twitter.com/AI88XdX9HW
Twitter's concrete steps to combat content containing CSE material were taken less than three weeks after Musk took over the platform. This is an extremely encouraging signal and demonstrates his commitment to solving the existing problem. In no time, Musk made possible what the old leadership had not done for ten years.
However, there is still a lot of work to be done. Solving an existing problem is not as easy as it might seem at first glance, and there are many pitfalls in this process. As someone who works intensively to combat the problem and has knowledge in this area, Eliza can give advice on how to clear CSE material on Twitter and hopes to share her knowledge with Musk. In addition, she believes that the technologies and AI that Tesla is developing can help solve the problem globally, and not just within the platform.
Read more about child sexual abuse material on Twitter here.
Commenting on the article, Musk confirmed that addressing the issue of posting child sexual exploitation content on Twitter is the #1 priority.
Priority #1— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 21, 2022
© 2022, Eva Fox | Tesmanian. All rights reserved.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.