The Chicago Journal

Twitter’s Policy Shift: Allowing Political Ads Amidst Concerns

Over three years ago, Twitter took a bold stance, prohibiting political and issue-based advertisements, driven by the fear that politicians could exploit the platform with misinformation. Fast forward to today, under the new ownership of Elon Musk, the social media giant is reversing this ban. This policy shift, while potentially boosting Twitter’s revenue, comes with considerable risks, including the spread of AI-generated deepfakes and sophisticated manipulation tactics. Let’s delve into this significant change through the following.

Read also: The Challenge of AI Hallucinations: When Machines Make Things Up

1. Easing the Ban: A Bid for Twitter’s Revenue Boost

Twitter, now under Elon Musk’s leadership, has made a pivotal decision to relax its prohibition on issue-based ads. The company believes that “cause-based advertising can facilitate public conversation around important topics.” Additionally, Twitter has announced plans to expand the scope of political advertising in the near future, promising more details as they progress. This shift aligns Twitter’s advertising policies with those of traditional media outlets like television.

This move to ease the ban is a strategic one. Political advertising has historically not been a significant source of revenue for Twitter. In 2018, the year before the ban took effect, Twitter made less than $3 million from political ads. However, the financial landscape at Twitter has undergone significant changes under Musk’s leadership.

2. Revenue Dilemma: Musk’s Urgent Search for Funds

For Twitter, political advertising historically hasn’t been a significant source of revenue, generating less than $3 million in 2018, the year prior to the ban. However, under Musk’s leadership, the company faces financial challenges. Several brands suspended their Twitter advertising due to concerns about content moderation policies. Musk even claimed that Twitter was losing $4 million a day during a period of mass layoffs aimed at reducing costs.

These financial pressures underscore the importance of revisiting the ban on political ads. As the company strives to find new revenue streams, allowing political advertisements could provide a much-needed sales boost. Moreover, it could be an attractive proposition for new political candidates, enabling them to increase their exposure through paid promotion.

3. Unintended Consequences: Risks Loom Large

While welcoming political advertising back may alleviate some issues associated with the advertiser exodus, it also carries the risk of unintended consequences. Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey had cautioned against internet political advertising due to its unique challenges. These include machine learning-based message optimization, micro-targeting, unchecked misinformation, and the rise of deepfakes, all at an unprecedented scale.

The potential for deepfakes, AI-generated videos and images that convincingly portray false information, is a particularly concerning aspect of this policy shift. Twitter has previously acknowledged the difficulty of addressing deepfake content effectively. With this policy change, the company must grapple with the risk of such content spreading unchecked.

4. A Shift Toward Facebook’s Model?

Twitter’s recent policy change could bring it closer to Facebook’s approach, which has drawn criticism for exempting political ads from fact-checking. This shift might lead to a more Facebook-like environment, where politicians can make unchecked claims in their ads. Misinformation and platform manipulation, Dorsey argued, are not exclusive to social media but allowing money into the equation complicates efforts to mitigate these harms.

The shift toward a model that resembles Facebook’s raises important questions about the responsibility of social media platforms in curbing the spread of false information during elections. While the goal is to boost revenue and promote political discourse, it also necessitates a vigilant approach to content moderation and fact-checking.

5. A Weakened Response: Staff Cutbacks

Adding to the complexity of this shift, Twitter has undergone significant staff layoffs, affecting teams responsible for trust, safety, and content moderation. This downsizing raises concerns about the company’s ability to effectively address the potential fallout, including the spread of misinformation and deepfakes.

The reduction in staff, particularly in areas crucial for maintaining a safe and trustworthy platform, could undermine Twitter’s capacity to respond to emerging threats and enforce its policies effectively. It underscores the importance of developing robust AI-based content detection systems to fill the gap left by staff cutbacks.

Meta will charge users for its subscription service

MetaAnother upcoming huge tweak Mark Zuckerberg made to Facebook and Instagram on Sunday has already angered users.

The CEO of Meta reportedly stated that the business is exploring a paid membership service that validates Facebook and Instagram users.

The unexpected Meta news surfaced just after Twitter said that it will start charging users for SMS two-factor authentication.

The news

In his introduction, Zuckerberg said that the subscription service will be dubbed “Meta Verified.”

Everyone who wants to utilize this service must pay $11.99 each month.

Those who use iOS, however, will have to pay $14.99 a month.

Australia and New Zealand will have access to Meta Verified this week before other regions.

Meta Verified

Meta’s subscription service is more than just a status symbol.

Also, it has benefits including enhanced protection against fake accounts.

Furthermore, Meta Verified provides clients with easy access to customer service.

A blue badge that enables account verification is given to users who utilize the subscription service.

Anybody who wants to utilize the subscription must have a government ID that exactly matches the name and photo on their profile.

They must also be at least 18 years old to subscribe to Meta Verified.


Mark Zuckerberg posted the following in a post on the Instagram broadcast channel Meta Verified:

“This new feature is about increasing authenticity and security across our services.”

The startling revelation shocked everyone, but Meta clarified to let everyone breathe.

The social media behemoth said that the verified accounts, which were previously exclusively accessible to real, well-known people, will not be impacted by the new subscription service.

“We are evolving the meaning of the blue badge to focus on authenticity so we can expand verification access to more people,” said a Meta spokesperson.

“We will display follower count in more places so people can distinguish which accounts are notable public figures among accounts that share the same name.”

A league of their own

Due to the company’s use of subscription services, Meta Verified falls under the same banner of platforms like:

  • Discord
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

Twitter has generated the hottest discussions out of all the websites with a committed subscription service.

Twitter Blue

In December, Twitter Blue, a premium service for verification, was re-released by Elon Musk and Twitter.

The firm had been utilizing the service up until a flood of fake “verified” accounts forced them to withdraw.

Twitter has also added new colors for a number of checkbox choices to make it simpler to distinguish between distinct accounts, including:

  • Gold checks for companies
  • Gray checks for government organizations and affiliates
  • Blue checks for individuals, celebrities or non-celebrities

Android and iOS users may use Twitter by subscribing to Twitter Blue for $11 per month.

Elon Musk wanted to increase the number of customers when he paid $44 billion to buy the business in late 2022.

Read also: Microsoft AI actually had errors in demo last week

Two-factor authentication 

There was uproar when Twitter said last week that it was reviewing how it handled two-factor authentication.

SMS texts are a two-factor authentication mechanism that is exclusively accessible to Twitter Blue subscribers, according to the press release.

A 2021 survey by Twitter Account Security found that just 2.6% of Twitter users had 2FA activated.

Around 74.4% of customers have so far chosen SMS authentication.

Beginning on March 20, non-Twitter Blue users will have two more, cost-free login options:

  • A security key
  • A mobile authentication app

On February 15, the news was made on Twitter in a blog post that read:

“Instead of only entering a password to log in, 2FA requires you to also enter a code or use a security key. This additional step helps make sure that you, and only you, can access your account.”

“While historically a popular form of 2FA, unfortunately we have seen phone-number based 2FA be used – and abused – by bad actors.”

“So starting today, we will no longer allow accounts to enroll in the text message/SMS method of 2FA unless they are Twitter Blue subscribers.”

“Non-Twitter Blue subscribers that are already enrolled will have 30 days to disable this method and enroll in another.”

“We encourage non-Twitter Blue subscribers to consider using an authentication app or security key method instead.”

“These methods require you to have a physical possession of the authentication method and are a great way to ensure your account is secure.”

Social media faces more regulations in 2023

Social media: The bipartisan spending bill passed by Congress last week essentially forbade the installation of TikTok on devices used by the government.

This year, advocates and legislators revealed proposals for tighter regulation of social media companies as 2023 kicks into gear.


The video-sharing app, which receives more than 1 billion monthly users, is owned by the Chinese corporation ByteDance.

Christopher Wray, the director of the FBI, and lawmakers have publicly stated their positions on TikTik’s ownership structure.

They claimed that the structure exposes information about US users.

In addition, Chinese-based businesses are compelled by law to provide the government with user information on request.

The concern

The National Intelligence Law of 2017 and the Counter-Espionage Law of 2014 are the two Chinese laws that have alarmed the US government since 2019.

According to the Counter-Espionage law, businesses and individuals “may not refuse” to divulge information when the state security agency conducts an espionage investigation and discovers crucial information.

Organizations or people are expected to support, help, and cooperate with governmental intelligence initiatives, as stated in Article 7 of the Intelligence Law.

The state also protects those who assist them.


Despite TikTok’s repeated assurances that US user data is not kept in China, little has changed from their comments.

TikTok has been compared to “digital fentanyl” by Wisconsin Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher.

Additionally, he thinks that the software has to be banned outright nationwide.

“It’s highly addictive and destructive,” said Gallagher.

“We’re seeing troubling data about the corrosive impact of constant social media use, particularly on young men and women here in America.”

Read also: Migrants delivered to Kamala Harris on Christmas

Social media regulation

Twitter, YouTube, and other social networking sites, like TikTok, use the same algorithms, claims Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen.

She thinks that increasing the transparency of their operations should be the regulators’ first move.

According to Haugen, the majority of people are unaware of the US’s gap in social media regulation compared to other countries.

“This is like we’re back in 1965,” said Haugen. “We don’t have seatbelt laws yet.”

Tech bills in 2022

Congress failed to pass some of the most radical elements of technology-related legislation the year before.

Antitrust law and a bill aimed at protecting children were among the legislations that were vetoed.

Antitrust legislation

Early in 2022, lawmakers created a bill that specifically targeted Apple’s and Google’s app stores for mobile devices.

The legislation also placed limitations on developers.

The American Innovation and Choice Online Act was advanced, which has some of the same objectives.

The Act forbids larger companies from unfairly treating or preferring their own products over those of competitors.

The plan states that developers would not be required to use the platform’s payment method for distribution if the app store had more than 50 million US users.

Additionally, app developers cannot be punished for selling their products elsewhere for a lower price.

Kids Online Safety Act

In November, bipartisan legislation was launched by Senators Marsha Blackburn and Richard Blumenthal to put regulations on websites that children 16 and younger can view.

The proposed law would compel platforms to restrict content that could cause minor users bodily injury or psychological trauma, including the following:

  • Self-harm/suicide
  • Encouragement of addictive behavior
  • Enabling online bullying
  • Predatory marketing

Additionally, websites have to follow the law’s requirements regarding connection restrictions and default privacy settings.

Even after the legislation underwent changes, several organizations still opposed it.

Read also: Sherrod Brown looking to have cryptocurrency banned in the US


There is still a patchwork of state rules dictating how to maintain customer data, even though Congress made significant progress toward a consensus measure on national privacy standards in 2022.

Many of the bills that have reached the Senate floor enjoy bipartisan support, according to Senator Amy Klobuchar.

However, she cautioned that the tremendous influence of the tech industry might cause huge bipartisan support to collapse over the next 24 hours.

According to Klobuchar, the American people won’t demand social media company reform until they declare that “enough is enough.”

“We are lagging behind,” said Klobuchar.

“It is time for 2023, let it be our resolution, that we finally pass one of these bills.”


More social media regulation is coming in 2023, members of Congress say

Huawei says it would never hand data to China’s government. Experts say it wouldn’t have a choice

Senate committee advances bill targeting Google and Apple’s app store profitability

Kids Online Safety Act may harm minors, civil society groups warn lawmakers

Teenagers using social media should be older than 13

Teenagers: In the digital age, social media has had a big influence on people’s daily lives.

The bulk of users are millennials, who have grown up with technology and shaped the internet world.

On the other hand, Gen Zs are developing and starting to use social media as early as 13-year-old teenagers, according to experts.

Finding their identity

Children should wait until they are 13 years old to create profiles on social networking sites, according to US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy.

Murthy emphasized that although many websites allow teenagers that old to sign up, they are still just trying to figure themselves out.

For the social networking sites listed below, 13-year-olds can sign up:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • Snapchat
  • TikTok
  • Twitter
  • Wink

“I, personally, based on the data I’ve seen, believe that 13 is too early,” said Murthy.

“It’s a time where it’s really important for us to be thoughtful about what’s going into how they think about their own self-worth and their relationship and the skewed and often distorted environment of social media often does a disservice to many of those children.”


The growing usage of social media among teenagers worries medical specialists.

They emphasized a number of academic research on the potential harms that the platforms may do to teenagers.

Vivek Murthy recognized that it would be difficult to discourage teenagers from using social media given their widespread use.

However, parents could succeed if they put up a unified front.

“If parents can band together and say you know, as a group, we’re not going to allow our kids to use social media until 16 or 17 or 18 or whatever age they choose,” he offered.

“That’s a much more effective strategy in making sure your kids don’t get exposed to harm early.”

Read also: RxPass joins array of Amazon projects in the pharmacy market

Psychological effects

Teenagers who use social media frequently have their brain chemistry changed, according to recent research.

According to a research that was released in January by JAMA Pediatrics, teenagers who often check social media exhibit increased neuronal sensitivity in some regions of their brains.

Their brains are more sensitive to social repercussions as a result.

Psychiatrist Dr. Adriana Stacey and her colleagues have raised the topic throughout the years.

The majority of the people Stacey deals with are college students and teenagers, and she claims that using social media causes a “dopamine dump.”

“When we do things that are addictive like use cocaine or use smartphones, our brains release a lot of dopamine at once,” she said. “It tells our break to keep using that.”

“For teenagers in particular, this part of their brain is actually hyperactive compared to adults. They can’t get motivated to do anything else.”

More time spent in front of a screen may affect brain development, according to recent studies.

For instance, younger children’s less developed reading and language skills were substantially connected with increased screen usage.

Lawmaker reacts

Democratic Senator Chris Murphy has heightened concerns about social media.

He recently expressed his worries regarding social media in an opinion post for Bulwark that addressed loneliness and mental health.

“We have lost something as a society, as so much of our life has turned into screen-to-screen communication,” said Murphy.

“It just doesn’t give you the same sense of value and the same sense of satisfaction as talking to somebody or seeing someone.”

The senator and surgeon general are both intimately familiar with the negative impacts of social media addiction.

Both Chris Murphy and Vivek Murthy are fathers; while Vivek has small children, Murphy has teenagers.

“It’s not coincidental that Dr. Murthy and I are probably talking more about this issue of loneliness more than others in public life,” said Murphy.

“I look at this through the prism of my 14-year-old and my 11-year-old.”

Chris Murphy went on to claim that the US is not a defenseless nation despite confronting Big Tech.

He thinks that government could take a number of steps to prevent teenagers from using social media, while also pressuring businesses to develop less addictive algorithms.

When speaking about the problem of addictive algorithms, Murthy claimed that teenagers and Big Tech aren’t in a fair fight.

“You have some of the best designers and product developers in the world who have designed these products to make sure people are maximizing the amount of time they spend on these platforms,” said the surgeon general.

“And if we tell a child, use the force of your willpower to control how much time you’re spending, you’re pitting a child against the world’s greatest product designers.”

Chris Murphy is hopeful about the future of social media in despite the obstacles.

“None of this is out of our control. When we had dangerous vehicles on the road, we passed laws to make those vehicles less dangerous,” he said.

“We should make decisions to make [social media] a healthier experience that would make kids feel better about themselves and less alone.”

Adult Swim execute decision to remove Roiland

Adult Swim: After discovering that voice actor Justin Roiland has been charged with felony domestic abuse in California, Adult Swim has opted to cut ties with him.

Roiland had a crucial part in the creation and continuance of Rick and Morty, but the TV network made the big decision without hesitation.

The news

The reports were confirmed by Marie Moore, senior VP of communications for Adult Swim and Cartoon Network, in a statement released on Tuesday:

“Adult Swim has ended its association with Justin Roiland.”

According to a post from the official Rick and Morty Twitter account, the show will go on without Roiland.

“Rick and Morty will continue,” the tweet said. “The talented and dedicated crew are hard at work on Season 7.”

Adult Swim

Adult Swim is a late-night television program on Cartoon Network that mostly consists of animated shows targeted at adults.

Its varied and oftentimes avant-garde programming, which blends original series, bought series, and feature films, has helped the block, which made its debut in 2001, become more well-liked.

On Adult Swim, the most well-liked cartoons to air include:

  • Rick and Morty
  • Boondocks
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force
  • The Venture Bros

This block’s programming is renowned for its absurd comedy as well as its adult themes and material.

Due to the fact that many of its episodes have become pop culture phenomena and have inspired merch, fan art, and even live events, Adult Swim has a penchant for creating a strong sense of community among its followers.

All things considered, Adult Swim offers both a platform for animators to create and test the boundaries of animated television as well as a place for fans looking for something original and out of the ordinary.

Read also: Justin Roiland faces domestic violence charges from 2020


The voiceover roles played by Justin Roiland will be replaced now that Rick and Morty’s renewal is confirmed.

Since the show’s debut, Roiland has been considered as a co-creator.

After his departure, Dan Harmon will be the sole showrunner left.

As previously reported, Rick and Morty will continue to air until season 10.

Justin Roiland is working on other projects while he leaves.

He provides the voice for the lead in the Hulu comedy Solar Opposites, for example.

In addition, on January 9, he produced and voiced the movie Koala Man.

Additionally, Roiland has an agreement with 20th Television Animation.

The charges

According to sources, on January 12, Justin Roiland was accused of the following:

  • One count of domestic battery with corporal injury
  • One count of false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud, or deceit

The unidentified woman Roiland was seeing at the time claims that the charges are connected to a purported incident from 2020.

In 2020, he entered a not guilty plea and was released after posting $50,000 bail.

Since then, Roiland has taken part in a number of pretrial hearings.

He’s scheduled to appear in court on April 27.

His attorney T. Edward Welbourn claims that the focus of the media throughout the previous month was not accurate.

“To be clear, not only is Justin innocent, but we also have every expectation that this matter is on course to be dismissed once the district attorney’s office has completed its methodical review of the evidence.”


Since Adult Swim cut relations with Justin Roiland, Rick and Morty must now obtain voices for the two main characters as well as additional recurring characters.

Many casting suggestions were posted online once the departure was announced.

Chris Pratt’s Super Mario casting was made fun of by many Twitter users, who also endorsed him for the role.

Others suggested Danny DeVito and Charlie Day as the two main protagonists.

Another person proposed pairing Tom Holland as Morty for Pratt’s Rick.

The show’s progress

The show’s popularity has been ebbing since season 3.

For instance, the sixth season’s shows averaged less than 600,000 US viewers per night.

Rick and Morty could be canceled if viewing figures keep dropping.

The absence of Rick’s characteristics, which have dominated the show for over ten years, might mean that Rick and Morty are entering their last season.

NetChoice claims California law violates First Amendment, sues state

The extensive industry group NetChoice comprises tech giants like Amazon, Google, Meta, TikTok, and Twitter.

On Wednesday, the group announced its intention to sue California.

They decided to overturn the state’s recently approved Age-Appropriate Design Code Act, which they believe violates the First Amendment.

The Age-Appropriate Design Code Act

California’s legislation was modeled after those in the UK.

It wants to establish rules to make the internet safer for young people.

The Age-Appropriate Design Code Act mandates that kids always have the most privacy enabled.

Additionally, it mandates that websites intended for children under 18 assess the possibility of user abuse or exploitation.

The lawsuit

The NetChoice lawsuit is a developing legal case involving online free expression.

Legislators routinely want to weaken the extensive liability protections offered by online platforms for user posts and content control.

All political parties are impacted by privacy and content control issues.

However, there is still disagreement between Republicans and Democrats regarding the best ways to solve the issues.

Even though a majority Democratic legislature supported the California act, NetChoice filed lawsuits against Texas and Florida for the social media laws passed by those states’ legislatures.

By requiring tech corporations to delete posts with political undertones, the legislation seeks to make them accountable.


In contrast to what it was supposed to do, the new law in California would harm adolescents rather than protect them, claims NetChoice.

Furthermore, they contend that compelling businesses to deduce from consumers the meaning of “inherently subjective terms” violates their First Amendment rights to free speech.

According to NetChoice, the state may impose financially ruinous fines if the companies are wrong.

“The State can also impose such penalties if companies fail to enforce their content moderation standards to the Attorney General’s satisfaction,” said the group.

The Age-Appropriate Design Code Act is anticipated to take effect in July 2024.

According to NetChoice, the bill will force content providers to drastically reduce their output to avoid paying fines for creating what California deems harmful.

“The over-moderation will stifle important resources, particularly for vulnerable youth who rely on the Internet for life-saving information,” said NetChoice.

Read also: Donald Trump slumps in voter standing based on recent poll

Defense of the law

A representative for California Attorney General Rob Bonta defended the legislation despite the accusations.

The statement claims that the policy provides essential new safeguards against the collection and use of children’s data.

Furthermore, it addresses some verifiable negative consequences of social networking and other online products and services.

“We are reviewing the complaint and look forward to defending this important children’s safety law in court.”

Prior concerns

The lawsuit’s language is similar to a bipartisan federal bill that aims to provide children with online protection but is being contested by civil society organizations.

The groups expressed concern that the bill would increase the danger posed by children and teenagers.

The following organizations were among those opposed to the legislation:

  • The American Civil Liberties Union
  • Center for Democracy & Technology
  • Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • Fight for the Future
  • Glaad
  • Wikimedia Foundation

Concerning the bill’s potential negative impacts, notably on the rights of the LGBTQ community, the organizations issued a warning.

People in the community are already concerned about how political prejudices can affect the standards used by content filters.

The bipartisan bill

The law would have imposed requirements on websites that minors under the age of 16 are likely to access.

Therefore, it would be their responsibility to reduce the likelihood of physical or psychological harm to young users, especially by encouraging the following:

  • Self-harm or suicide
  • Encouragement of addictive behavior
  • Enabling online bullying
  • Predatory marketing

“KOSA would require online services to ‘prevent’ a set of harms to minors, which is effectively an instruction to employ broad content filtering to limit minors’ access to certain online content,” wrote the groups.

“Online service would face substantial pressure to over-moderate, including from state Attorneys General seeking to make political points about what kind of information is appropriate for young people.”

“At a time when books with LGBTQ+ themes are being banned from school libraries, and people providing healthcare to trans children are being falsely accused of ‘grooming,’ KOSA would cut off another vital avenue to access to information for vulnerable youth.”

Revamping the federal bipartisan bill

The responsible legislators attempted to address the problems in a revised version of the legislation.

On Tuesday night, updates that addressed issues raised by the LGBTQ community and significant lawmakers were released.

In order to address worries that attorneys general with anti-LGBTQ attitudes may abuse the law, a modified “duty of care” language was introduced.

Additionally, a language stating that companies are not required to collect additional user information to determine the user’s age was changed.

Despite the changes, certain groups nevertheless opposed the law.

Read also: Elon Musk sells giant chunk of Tesla shares again

Content moderation

NetChoice opposes the laws in Florida and Texas that would weaken Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields the tech industry from legal culpability.

The Act safeguards the right to manage content.

Republicans, on the other hand, have been attempting to enact more regulations on social media because they believe that conservative ideas are being suppressed on well-known websites.

Popular sites have denied unfairly implementing their community guidelines when this has occurred.

According to a reputable study, internet discussions are often dominated by conservative viewpoints.

A Texas version was barred from taking effect in May by the Supreme Court.

The merits of the case were not, however, decided.

Lower courts have thus far rejected Florida’s version.


Tech industry group sues to block California law designed to protect kids online over free speech concerns

Kids Online Safety Act may harm minors, civil society groups warn lawmakers

Revamped kids’ online privacy bill emerges in year-end push (1)

Elon Musk vowed to end child exploitation on Twitter, workforce too thin

Elon Musk declared he could stop child trafficking on Twitter, the social media platform he spent $44 billion to buy.

He spoke about the issue and stated it was his top concern less than a month ago.

There has yet to be any evidence, though, that Twitter has been acting aggressively since he took charge.

According to conversations with four former employees, one current employee, internal business records, and people working toward the same goal, Musk hasn’t made a significant investment in removing child exploitation-related information from Twitter.


Elon Musk turned the discussion of internet security into a significant effort to malign former Twitter leaders.

In addition, he is using his ownership in the “awake mind virus,” a social movement that opposes far-left to center-left principles.

After he agreed with far-right internet rhetoric that usually includes exaggerated accusations of child sex abuse, the change occurred.

“It is a crime that they refused to take action on child exploitation for years,” Musk tweeted on Friday.

His comment was in reaction to a letter of resignation from a member of Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council who focused on child abuse issues.

The previous CEO, Jack Dorsey, responded, “This is false.”

New management

Now run by Musk, Twitter said that more accounts were suspended for child sex abuse content in November than in any other month.

The suspensions were attributed to new partnerships with anonymous groups and new “detection and enforcement mechanisms.”

The following reasons hindered the corporation’s ability to address child sex abuse online:

  • Layoffs
  • Mass-firings
  • Resignations

Internal records

Internal records obtained by NBC News and CNBC reveal that 25 of the 1,600 workers still employed by Twitter had positions related to “Trust and Safety,” although the company’s personnel total is still in flux.

The total includes over 100 individuals Musk authorized to work for Twitter, Tesla, SpaceX, The Boring Company, and numerous investors and advisers.

A former employee with a child safety focus claimed to be aware of a small Twitter team still tackling the issue.

But most of the team’s engineers and product managers have already left.

The employee asked to remain anonymous because she feared retaliation.

By the end of 2021, Twitter employed more than 7,500 people.

According to former employees, layoffs would have been possible even if Musk hadn’t purchased the company.

Child safety groups

Twitter’s ties to outside groups that promote child safety have been cut back under the current management.

The Trust and Safety Council of the social media firm, which was made up of 12 groups and provided advice to Twitter on its campaigns to increase public awareness of child sexual exploitation, was abolished on Monday.

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), an organization the US government has tasked with monitoring reports of child sexual abuse content online, claims that not much has changed under Musk’s direction.

NCMEC’s consolidated CSAM reporting system was addressed by the organization’s spokesperson Gavin Portnoy, who said:

“Despite the rhetoric and some of what we’ve seen people posting online, their CyberTipline numbers are almost identical to what they were prior to Musk coming on board.”

Another change observed by Portnoy was the exclusion of Twitter from the organization’s annual social media discussion.

“The previous person was one of the folks who resigned,” he said.

According to Portnoy, Twitter declined when asked if they wanted to send a proxy.


Twitter stated that 86,666 CSAM incidents were found on the platform in 2017, although Portnoy believes the actual number may be higher.

“We’ve always felt that there should have been more reports coming out of Twitter, no matter how you cut it, and just given the sheer number of users that are there,” he said.

Twitter continues to be plagued with child sexual exploitation content, even if it affects most social media sites.

After learning that their advertisements frequently displayed next to harmful content, Twitter’s advertisers left the platform earlier this year.

Last year, a child sex abuse victim and their mother sued the company, claiming they were negligent in their response to information about a video showing the child roaming the site.

Read also: Meta threatens to remove news content on FB

Content moderation

Using automated detection technologies, internal expert teams, and outside contracts, child abuse content must be detected and eliminated in moderation.

The content complies with Twitter’s policies as follows:

“Imagerey and videos, referred to as child pornography, but also written solicitation and other material that promotes child sexual exploitation.”

Several employees and leaders who worked on trust and safety features, as well as improvements to the current platforms, made up Twitter’s engineering staff, which was reduced by more than half as a result of layoffs, firings, and resignations, according to those with knowledge of the situation and internal records.

Twitter’s current head of trust and safety, Ella Irwin, alleges that Musk also let go of contractors when the company migrated to high-tech automation to fulfill its moderation needs.

“You tend to think more bodies equals more safety,” said Portnoy.

“So, I mean, that is disheartening.”

How many Twitter staff are still working on child safety issues remains unknown.


Elon Musk says he can stop child exploitation on Twitter. So far, he’s axed jobs and pushed out watchdogs

Henry Cavill breaks news, he won’t return as Superman

When Henry Cavill announced that he would return to the role of Superman, the most iconic figure in comic books, he caused a stir.

His inclusion in Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam appears to support his assertion.

Cavill would not be returning, according to James Gunn, one of the two new heads of DC Studios.

Gunn also revealed that while DC would produce a new Superman project, Cavill would not return.

The announcement

James Gunn provided fans with updates on DC’s trajectory with a series of tweets today.

“Peter & I have a DC slate ready to go, which we couldn’t be more over-the-moon about,” he started.

“We’ll be able to share some exciting information about our first new projects at the beginning of the new year.”

“Among the slate is Superman,” Gunn continued.

“In the initial stages, our story will be focusing on an earlier part of Superman’s life, so the character will not be played by Henry Cavill.”

Those following Henry Cavill since Man of Steel in 2013 felt their stomachs flip as they read the news.

Gunn left a glimmer of hope, so it wasn’t all terrible.

“But we had just a great meeting with Henry and we’re big fans and we talked about a number of exciting possibilities to work together in the future.”

Read also: Kanye West comments can’t stop his resurgence

Cavill confirms grim news

Amid everything, Henry Cavill posted a lengthy statement on his Instagram page informing followers of the shocking news, which affected thousands, if not millions, of people.

“I have just had a meeting with James Gun and Peter Safran and it’s sad news, everyone,” Cavill began.

“I will, after all, not be returning as Superman.”

“After being told by the studio to announce my return back in October, prior to their hire, this news isn’t the easiest, but that’s life.”

“The changing of the guard is something that happens. I respect that.”

“James and Peter have a universe to build. I wish them and all involved with the new universe the best of luck, and the happiest of fortunes.”

In true Superman fashion, Henry Cavill exhorted supporters to maintain their composure.

“For those who have been by my side through the years… we can mourn for a bit, but then we must remember… Superman is still around.”

“Everything he stands for still exists, and the examples he sets for us are still there!”

“My turn to wear the cape has passed, but what Superman stands for never will. It’s been a fun ride with you all, onwards and upwards.”

The Witcher

Henry Cavill announced his resignation as the Man of Steel two months after declaring his final appearance as Geralt of Rivia for the third season of the Netflix series.

Cavill agreed to the revised casting, which saw Liam Hemsworth playing the role.

The English actor wrote in support of Hemsworth’s takeover:

“As with the greatest of literary characters, I pass the torch with reverence for the time spent embodying Geralt and enthusiasm to see Liam’s take on this most fascinating and nuanced of men.”

Read also: Avatar: The Way of Water proves to be better


When Gunn stated that Henry Cavill wouldn’t return as the “big blue boy scout,” Twitter erupted since viewers had anticipated seeing him face off against Black Adam and Darkseid.

One user wrote:

“I was so devastated by henry cavill leaving the witcher but now even more devastated he’s out on two roles he absolutely loved.”

“Truly tho [sic] what a sad night and one of the unfortunate eras for a Superman actor,” wrote another.

“Absolutely just disheartening and just unbelievable, and I can’t believe it happened, but Henry Cavill, u will always be our Superman, and we’ll miss you.”

A third chimed in, saying:

“Henry Cavill is Superman. He loves the character. He’s perfect for the role. The fans love him.”

“I have no idea how they possibly think it’s a good idea to not continue with him. Unbelievable. So much untapped potential. Hope has officially been lost.”

One fan lamented Cavill’s loss, especially with his herculean build, which gave him the Superman look, saying:

“It’s to bad Henry Cavill is no longer superman, it feels like they only scratch the surface of what he could do with the character.”

“The man looked incredible as Superman.”

One Twitter user thought the studio’s decision to have him announce his comeback before letting him go from the role was hysterically dumb.

“Completely fine with both Henry Cavill staying and going as Superman,” he wrote.

“But my god, not only having him return and officially address it, but basically running a subliminal marketing campaign around said return, only to fire him 6 weeks later, is so hilariously stupid.”

Others complied with the situation because they understood how crucial commerce was to the entertainment industry’s survival.

“So, Henry Cavill is Superman no more. I’m devastated. But it is what it is. It’s not called Show friends, it’s called Show business,” they wrote.

“I’m interested what @JamesGunn and Paul does for DC Studios. Start with a clean slate is great.”

Another person wrote in agreement:

“Damn. It sucks we lost Henry Cavill as Superman but I’m super excited to see what James Gunn has cooked up.”


James Gunn’s official Twitter thread

Henry Cavill reveals he’s done as Superman after being ‘told to announce his return’: ‘My turn to wear the cape has passed’

DC fans “devastated” that Henry Cavill is out again as Superman

Maxine Waters firm on having Sam Bankman-Fried attend hearing

Maxine Waters: On Friday, Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters invited Sam Bankman-Fried to a hearing in the House of Representatives via Twitter.

However, the founder of FTX said he wouldn’t be ready by then.

Today, Waters took to Twitter to enforce SBF to attend the December 13 House committee hearing about the FTX collapse.

The invite

Maxine Waters reached out to Sam Bankman-Fried again on Twitter.

This time, she was more adamant about his presence at the hearing.

“It is imperative that you attend our hearing on the 13th, and we are willing to schedule continued hearings if there is more information to be shared later,” Waters tweeted.

The California District 43 representative initially contacted SBF last week.

Early on, Maxine Waters thanked the founder of FTX, as the invitation to testify was not a request or a subpoena.

SBF wrote back to her on Sunday, writing:

“Once I have finished learning and reviewing what happened, I would feel like it was my duty to appear before the committee and explain.”

“I’m not sure that will happen by the 13th. But when it does, I will testify.”

Read also: Sam Bankman-Fried ‘not ready’ for hearing

Reiterated invitation

After he turned her down, Maxine Waters’ patience with Bankman-Fried seemed to have run out.

In a second invitation, Waters did not hold back and stressed the importance of SBF’s presence in Washington.

“Based on your role as CEO and your media interviews over the past few weeks, it’s clear to us that the information you have thus far is sufficient for testimony.”

“As you know, the collapse of FTX has harmed over one million people,” she continued.

“Your testimony would not only be meaningful to Members of Congress, but is also critical to the American people.”

Read also: Sam Bankman-Fried says he donated to the Republican party

Crypto Twitter

The Crypto Space on Twitter took notice of the exchange between Maxine Waters and Sam Bankman-Friede.

One user commented, saying their back-and-forth looks more appropriate.

Meanwhile, another rallied behind the representative, saying:

“Ms Waters, with all due respect – let’s stop flirting with the inevitable outcome and cut the crap.”

“Begin the process of extradition to bring him back to US soil where he can be tried and properly judged for his gross and fraudulent misconduct.”

“Send a subpoena.”

Whether SBF will appear on December 13 remains to be seen, but he already has a long line of officials and regulators waiting to speak with him.


US Rep. Maxine Waters insists SBF attend FTX hearing on Capitol Hill

Elon Musk highlights macroeconomic factors for Tesla shares decline

Elon Musk: On Tuesday, shares of Tesla, the top producer of electric vehicles, fell 8% and hit a new 52-week low.

Elon Musk, the CEO, attributed the decline to macroeconomic factors.

The news

Tuesday’s market performance was mixed as Tesla shares slid to a 52-week low and finished at approximately $138 per share, down 8%.

Elon Musk tried to attribute the problem to macroeconomic factors.

Ross Gerber, a longtime backer of Tesla, tweeted:

“Tesla stock price now reflects the value of having no CEO. Great job tesla BOD – time for a shake up. $tsla.”

Gerber launched an unofficial campaign to convince Tesla’s stockholders to ratify his appointment to the board of directors.

“As bank savings account interest rates, which are guaranteed, start to approach stock market returns, which are not guaranteed,” Musk replied.

“People will increasingly move their money out of stocks into cash, thus causing stocks to drop.”


Since Musk said earlier this year that he would buy Twitter, Tesla’s stock has fallen more than those of other well-known manufacturers.

Tesla shares have dropped 59% since April compared to 26% and 12% for Ford and GM, respectively.

The S&P 500 is down 14% as well.


Elon Musk, according to Ross Gerber, has been preoccupied.

He mentioned the issues that the new CEO and owner of Twitter had been causing with his social media site.

Late in October, Musk used a leveraged buyout to acquire Twitter.

As CEO of SpaceX, a large defense contractor, he also spends his time between those roles.

Read also: Elon Musk sells giant chunk of Tesla shares again

Twitter acquisition

Elon Musk sold his Tesla stock, including one, for $3.6 billion earlier in December to obtain money to buy Twitter.

In an effort to “save” the company last month, he laid off more than half the workers after selling his Tesla for billions of shares.

Then he made a number of modifications to the products and the policies, which he ultimately undid.

After layoffs, Musk called an all-hands meeting to motivate the remaining Twitter employees.

He sold Tesla stock, estimated to be worth $3.95 billion, at the start of November.

Musk also sold 19.5 million more Tesla shares, according to a filing sent to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In April, Musk sold Tesla shares worth over $8 billion, and in August, he sold stock worth over $7 billion.

The CEO of Tesla extended an invitation to employees from previous companies he co-founded to join the Twitter team, as well as to supporters, friends, and autopilot engineers.

Tesla’s challenges

Since late October, Elon Musk has been focusing on his “Chief Twit” position.

Tesla has been offering discounts and incentives to sell automobiles in China, where the company has a sizable production site in Shanghai.

Additionally, the company has pushed to improve productivity in recently built facilities in Brandenburg, Germany, and Austin, Texas.

Additionally, despite Europe’s growing energy prices, Tesla continues to experience supply chain problems in the automotive industry.

The scenario in Europe may reduce drivers’ interest in electric automobiles.

Price targets

Due to the issues the company is now having, Mizuho Securities and Evercore ISI decreased their projections for the price of Tesla on Tuesday.

Analysts at Mizuho Securities warned of “potential weakness in Tesla sales as macro headwinds and a weaker consumer could drive lower demand for higher-priced EVs.”

The company, however, is upbeat about Tesla’s future and cites the following factors as potential boosters of rising domestic demand:

  • New Tesla factories could provide a competitive advantage
  • New electric vehicle tax credits in the United States

Early in 2023, China’s EV credits start to run out.

As a result, the group has a buy rating and a $285 price objective on Tesla’s shares.

Read also: NetChoice claims California law violates First Amendment, sues state

Tesla shares

Joshua White, an assistant professor at Vanderbilt University and a former economist for the US Securities and Exchange Commission, said:

“Only some of the drop in Tesla’s value can be blamed on interest rates. Twitter overhanging is one important component. China is another huge component.”

“We still don’t know if China will be open all the way, and we see there is supply and demand pressure here in light of the increase in Covid cases and disruption.”

White asserts that Elon Musk likely lost shareholders’ confidence in April when he said he didn’t sell any extra Tesla shares.

Musk persisted nonetheless, raising billions of dollars by selling more shares.

“He seems to sell equity in really large blocks, say ‘I’m done and I’m not selling anymore.’ But talk is cheap,” continued White.

“He says that and then sells more shares. So the more you say that and investors think he’s probably not done? The less confident they will be that the price is going to bounce back.”


Elon Musk tries to explain why Tesla shares are tanking

Elon Musk tells Twitter staff he sold Tesla stock to save the social network