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Twitter Job Cuts A Before US Midterm Polls Spark Misinformation Concerns

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#Elon Musk, the company’s new owner, has promised that Twitter won’t become a “free-for-all hellscape,” but experts are concerned that mass layoffs on Friday might seriously hamper the social network’s capacity to combat misinformation.

A spike in bogus content is anticipated on social media in the days leading up to next week’s US midterm elections, so Twitter let go approximately half of its 7,500-person workforce.

According to US media, the cuts, which follow Musk’s record-breaking $44 million acquisition of the business, have an impact on a number of divisions, including trust and safety teams that oversee content moderation as well as engineering and machine learning.

According to Kate Starbird, an assistant professor at the University of Washington who studies disinformation, “I would be really careful on this platform in the following days… about what you retweet, who you follow, and even your own sense of what’s going on.”

The possibility of “impersonation” attempts, “organized disinformation by manipulators,” and “hoaxes that aim to induce you to disseminate lies” has increased, Starbird cautioned in a tweet on her own account.

Prior to the election, “when we know social media runs off the rails to misinform, intimidate, and hurt people of color,” said Jessica Gonzalez, co-chief executive officer of the nonpartisan organization Free Press, she was concerned that Twitter might relax its content-moderation efforts.

“Twitter was already a hellscape before Musk took over, and his actions… will only make it worse,” said Gonzalez.

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