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Elon Musk admits to burner accounts, lack of fact-checking

Elon Musk admits to burner accounts, lack of fact-checking
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Elon Musk’s management of X (formerly Twitter) and his personal engagement on the platform have been sources of significant controversy, particularly in light of a recent defamation lawsuit. The lawsuit has shed light on Musk’s laissez-faire approach to fact-checking and content sharing.

The lawsuit revolves around Musk’s unfounded implication of Ben Brody, a young Jewish man, in neo-Nazi activities, showcasing Musk’s hazardous engagement on social media, Rolling Stonereports.

Musk’s deposition revealed a startling lack of fact-checking on his part, alongside his assertion that X is “the most accurate, timely, and truthful place on the internet,” a claim that starkly contrasts with reality, especially for marginalized communities.

GLAAD’s 2023 Social Media Safety Index contrasts with Musk’s assertions about X. The index, assessing the safety of social media platforms for LGBTQ+ users, ranks X poorly. This discrepancy highlights the challenges and risks marginalized communities face on the platform, highlighting a significant gap between Musk’s portrayal of X and its users’ lived realities, especially regarding safety and inclusiveness.

According to Rolling Stone, Musk also acknowledged using undisclosed accounts for testing purposes during his deposition.

Musk’s admission of operating what are commonly referred to as “burner” accounts adds a new dimension to the tech mogul’s already scrutinized presence on the platform he owns. Their existence raises questions about the transparency of his interactions on X and the potential for undisclosed influence on platform discourse.

A recent policy change on X aimed at banning the sharing of personal information without consent can be seen as a microcosm of Musk’s unpredictable policy enforcement. After an alleged neo-Nazi cartoonist was exposed, the company changed its policy on revealing the names of people with anonymous accounts. Critics note that while such a move is ostensibly positive, aiming to curb doxxing, it also reflects the ad-hoc nature of decision-making under Musk’s leadership, further exemplifying the erratic behavior that has characterized his tenure.

A GLAAD spokesperson provided a pointed critique of Musk’s management and the environment on X, highlighting the broader implications of Musk’s admissions and the platform’s direction under his leadership.

“Musk said in his deposition: X is ‘the most accurate, timely and truthful place on the internet.’ Anyone on the platform — users and advertisers alike — know that’s not true,” the GLAAD spokesperson said. “This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as Elon Musk admitted himself in the deposition, he often doesn’t fact-check his tweets.”

The spokesperson noted that as the CEO of a major social media platform with millions of followers, he is not taking seriously the responsibility that comes with such a reach.

“Facts are facts. Yet Musk and other far-right extremists far too often twist the truth and harass marginalized groups online and off for their own engagement and profit,” the spokesperson said, adding, “Everyone should be able to use social media, without the threat of being harassed, doxxed, or needing to flee their homes over bomb threats. Both advertisers and international regulators should be attentive to Musk’s behavior and the many concerning aspects of his leadership of the platform.”



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