Lebron James said he doesn’t know Elon Musk and ‘could care less who owns Twitter’ but hopes the billionaire will take hate speech seriously

LeBron James in 2022.Mark J. Terrill/AP Images

  • Lebron James reacted to news of a large influx of hate speech following Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter.

  • “I hope he and his people take this very seriously,” James wrote on Twitter Saturday.

  • Twitter responded to the reports of increased hate speech, saying “hateful conduct” was not welcome on the platform.

Lebron James said the rise of hate speech on Twitter is “scary AF” and urged new Twitter owner and CEO Elon Musk to take the issue seriously.

“I dont know Elon Musk and, tbh, I could care less who owns twitter,” James wrote on Twitter Saturday, responding to reports that use of the n-word on Twitter rose by nearly 500% within 12 hours of Musk finalizing the acquisition of the platform. “But I will say that if this is true, I hope he and his people take this very seriously because this is scary AF. So many damn unfit people saying hate speech is free speech.”

 

 

Trolls attempting to test the limits of the app’s content moderation also flooded the site with anti-LGBTQ slurs and sexist comments, according to the Washington Post. 

Critics of Musk’s acquisition of Twitter have warned that the new CEO and owners leadership could result in the platform becoming a “supercharged engine of radicalization,” citing the increase in such content.

Musk is a self-described “free-speech absolutist,” and said in a Thursday tweet the social media platform should adhere “to the laws of the land.” Hate speech, while not clearly defined under U.S. law, is generally considered protected under the First Amendment right to free speech.

In response to reports about the rise of hate speech, Yoel Roth, head of Safety and Integrity at Twitter, wrote Saturday evening that Twitter’s rules on hateful conduct have remained the same since Musk took control of the company.

According to Roth, 50,000 tweets “repeatedly using a particular slur” originated from the same 300 accounts, most of which were described as “inauthentic.”

“Hateful conduct has no place here,” Roth wrote. “And we’re taking steps to put a stop to an organized effort to make people think we have.”

Musk also said Friday that he would create a content moderation council with “widely diverse viewpoints.”

“No major content decisions or account restatements will happen before that council convenes,” Musk wrote on Twitter. So far, no other details of the council, including who will make up the council body, have been announced.

Representatives for Twitter did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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