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Twitter doing nothing about racist tweets during World Cup

By Leah Kellman Dec 3, 2022
A picture of a phone with Elon Musk's account on Twitter and the blue bird Twitter logo in the backgroundCredit: Rafael Henrique/Shutterstock

Twitter has reportedly not removed racist tweets that have targeted some black footballers during the World Cup.  

Research by the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a week before the World Cup started, found that only one of 100 racist tweets sent to players was taken down and the accounts sending them were not banned.  

Among the 43 of the footballers who had been targeted were Gabriel Jesus, Richarlison, Raheem Sterling, Bukayo Saka and Marcus Rashford.  

Close up shot of Marcus Rashford wearing a blue sweatshirt. The background is blurred in order to focus on him.
Marcus Rashford was one of those targeted and Twitter has failed to remove it. Credit: Bagu Blanco/Shutterstock

Elon Musk who became the CEO of Twitter earlier this year said that his main aim for Twitter users is “freedom of speech”.  

According to Musk, who tweeted last week about the rise of hate speech on the platform, “hate speech impressions down by 1/3 from pre-spike levels”.  

A day before the World Cup started, Musk tweeted: “Negative/hate tweets will be max deboosted & demonetized- you won’t find the tweet unless you specifically seek it out, which is no different from rest of Internet.”    

Despite sacking the majority of his moderation team, Musk has insisted that moderating hate speech is going well.  

According to Twitter’s policy on hate speech they “prohibit targeting others with repeated slurs, tropes or other content that intends to dehumanize, degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected category”. 

It appears that poilicy is not being enforced.

By Leah Kellman

Role: Features editor

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