Global Alliance Against Digital Hate and Extremism
Linda Yaccarino, CEO
1355 Market Street, Suite 900
San Francisco, CA 94103
July 26, 2023
The Global Alliance Against Digital Hate and Extremism is an international movement, supported by more than 70 civil society organizations from across the world, mobilizing collective action for a safe, fair, and just online experience for everyone.
Congratulations on your new position with Twitter. In your capacity as CEO, we are writing to ask that you reinstate and update Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council that, under Elon Musk’s leadership, was dissolved in 2022.
The council of nearly 100 civil, human rights, and other organizations served a vital purpose to keep Twitter safe for its users, especially when it comes to hate speech, disinformation, child exploitation, suicide, and self-harm. The abrupt disbanding of this advisory committee has played a large part in Twitter’s content moderation efforts becoming nearly nonexistent as well as Twitter becoming an unsafe platform for its users, as advocates have shown and former members of the council have argued.
As human rights and civil society groups representing regions from around the world, we have witnessed firsthand real-world harms that are amplified by the business practices of major internet and social media companies, including Twitter. From hate speech, which is illegal in some regions of the world, to the dehumanization of entire communities, to the slaughter of Muslims in India, to allowing Putin’s dehumanizing war propaganda up to and including calls for genocide, to the spread of dangerous disinformation and conspiracy theories, such as the racist and antisemitic “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory that has inspired terrorist attacks against Jews, Muslims, immigrants and refugees, the devastation is all too real. And still, Twitter continues to seethe with disinformation and hate, including Holocaust denial, antisemitism, lies about the LGBTQ+ population, anti-Muslim hatred, and misogynistic material. Twitter was recently called the worst social media platform when it comes to safety for LGBTQ+ people. The list of online harms that have resulted in offline harms is far too long to enumerate here and has impacted millions of people.
Given the dozens of elections to be held in 2024, the time is now for Twitter to reinstate the Trust and Safety Council and to improve content moderation efforts as part of the efforts to stop disinformation campaigns from undermining elections and causing political violence, especially in languages other than English.
We ask that you take steps to protect your users, impacted communities, and democracy and invest in ending the spread of disinformation, hate speech, incitement to violence, and extremist propaganda on the platform that too often leads to offline violence and threatens human rights and inclusive democracies. We cannot strengthen democracies and protect human rights while Twitter amplifies, rewards, and profits from hate, extremism, and disinformation.
There are many other areas in which Twitter must invest to ensure the safety of its users and health of democracies. Our movement, from all regions of the world, is united in urging you to commit the necessary resources to ensure human rights are protected on Twitter, that free expression, not hate speech and incitement to violence, are protected, and that Twitter is positioned as a platform where ideas are discussed and challenged without abuse.
In addition to the reinstating the Trust and Safety Council, we are calling on Twitter to:
- Reinstate the human rights team.
- End exemptions from content moderation for the politically powerful and influencers globally.
- Clarify, improve, and enforce your “Violent Organizations” and “Hateful Conduct” policies.
- Expand and ensure proportionate resources for content moderation in all languages and cultural competency for all regions where Twitter operates.
- Fix and design algorithms to end the amplification of disinformation, hate and extremism in all languages and regions where Twitter operates.
- Ensure use of AI does not contribute to the spread of disinformation and is not able to be abused by bad actors.
Twitter must prioritize these issues immediately, while maintaining full transparency with civil society regarding the platform’s policies, systems, practices, resources invested, and internal research relevant to disinformation, hate, and extremism globally. We are facing an intensification of global threats to democracies and ongoing violence driven from online platforms. With roughly 230 million daily active users, this situation will become even more perilous if Twitter fails to act.
Under your leadership, Twitter can improve.
The Global Alliance Against Digital Hate and Extremism is offering to share our considerable experience and expertise to ensure that Twitter becomes a safe, fair, and just online space for everyone. We look forward to meeting with you at your earliest convenience. You can contact the Alliance and set up a meeting through Wendy Via, co-founder and president of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, and Alliance Steering Committee member, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Global Alliance Against Digital Hate and Extremism
Steering Committee Members
Conscious Advertising Network
Fair Vote UK
Fighting Online Antisemitism
Global Project Against Hate and Extremism
Greek Helsinki Monitor
“NEVER AGAIN” Association
Red Dot Foundation