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Elon Musk has stated tackling child sex abuse content on Twitter is his number one priority, which comes as a refreshing change after the popular social media platform has spent years dawdling on the issue.
Twitter before Musk expended much of its content moderation energy on banning people for misgendering or stating basic facts of biology, while turning a blind eye to the child sexual exploitation (CSE) content being shared widely on the site.
But all that is about to change, and indeed, positive steps have already been taken. In less than a month, Musk has managed to virtually eliminate the three biggest hashtags used by abusers to share child sex abuse material on Twitter, as well as making the reporting of such material simpler with the addition of a direct reporting option for child sexual exploitation content.
A 2021 report by The Verge revealed Twitter’s child pornography problem, and stated that Twitter’s executives were aware of the problem but failed to commit adequate resources to detect, remove, and prevent such content from being shared on the platform.
Eliza Bleu, a human trafficking survivor and advocate, has been attempting to get Twitter to take the issue of CSE material seriously for the past two years. There was a glimmer of hope in February of this year when the platform added a feature to make reporting such content easier, but just a few months later, the feature was removed without explanation.
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