Nets Ignore Twitter Files As NBC Blames Musk For Hate Speech

News & Politics

None of the three broadcast networks covered the Friday revelations of how Twitter censored the New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story on their Saturday morning shows. However, NBC’s Today did manage to blame Elon Musk for a raise in hate speech on the platform.

Correspondent Steve Patterson set the dramatic tone for the segment, “While the focus has been on [Kanye] West’s suspension, researchers are warning that hate speech and harassment has increased dramatically since Elon Musk took over the platform and that they worry that while one man is being pushed out, a wave pushed a wave far worse is being ushered in.”

As part of the recorded video report, Patterson declared:

Just five weeks after Elon Musk took over Twitter, this morning, the billionaire’s vision on the platform is coming into focus as questions over free speech versus hate speech swirl. While the suspension of recording artist Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, from the platform has captured the headlines, hundreds of Twitter accounts belonging to far-right activists and Q-Anon theorists have been reinstated according to data reviewed by NBC News.

Musk’s belief in free speech led Sarah Roberts of something called the “UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry” to claim “Musk is setting a tone of permissibility for the kind of behavior that had people shown the door in the first place.”

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As for that “kind of behavior,” Patterson reported, “After Musk acquired the site, slurs against black Americans tripled and anti-Semitic tweets soared more than 61% according to groups that monitor online hate. Musk pushing back calling reports of hate speech ‘utterly false’ and tweeting ‘hate speech impressions… continue to decline despite significant user growth.’”

Patterson did not elaborate on Musk’s rebuttal and the numbers he cites come from a New York Times article on the same subject. What the Times reports, but Patterson does not are specific numbers for tweets targeting black Americans: from 1,282 to 3,876. What neither cites is that is out of 867 million total tweets per day. The idea that Twitter is a racist hellscape is sensationalism.

Patterson concluded the segment by specifically discussing Kanye West’s recent suspension. Meanwhile, the ignoring of The Twitter Files was also ignored on ABC’s Good Morning America and CBS Saturday Morning despite both having the time to report on the existence of Qatari camel beauty pageants and the cheating that occasionally goes on at such events.

This segment was sponsored by Wayfair

Here is a transcript for the December 3 show:

NBC Today

12/3/2022

8:13 AM ET

KRISTEN WELKER: NBC’s Steve Patterson is following all of it for us. Steve, good morning to you. 

STEVE PATTERSON: Guys, good morning to you. While the focus has been on West’s suspension, researchers are warning that hate speech and harassment has increased dramatically since Elon Musk took over the platform and that they worry that while one man is being pushed out, a wave pushed a wave far worse is being ushered in. 

Just five weeks after Elon Musk took over Twitter, this morning, the billionaire’s vision on the platform is coming into focus as questions over free speech versus hate speech swirl. While the suspension of recording artist Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, from the platform has captured the headlines, hundreds of Twitter accounts belonging to far-right activists and Q-Anon theorists have been reinstated according to data reviewed by NBC News.

BEN COLLINS: People know how to play the game in the white supremacists spaces, who know how to get people radicalized subtly over time. Those are the people that are coming back. 

PATTERSON: Andrew Anglin, the founder of one the most influential neo-Nazi websites, just one of hundreds of formerly banned users now back on the platform after Musk’s Thanksgiving tweet, that “amnesty beginning next week.” 

Meanwhile, the billionaire cutting the company staff, including those dedicated to monetary abuse and hate speech. 

SARAH ROBERTS: Musk is setting a tone of permissibility for the kind of behavior that had people shown the door in the first place. 

PATTERSON: After Musk acquired the site, slurs against black Americans tripled and anti-Semitic tweets soared more than 61% according to groups that monitor online hate. Musk pushing back calling reports of hate speech “utterly false” and tweeting “hate speech impressions… continue to decline despite significant user growth.” 

This morning, Ye’s Twitter account remains suspended after being banned Thursday night. Musk writing, “I tried my best, despite that he again violated our rule against incitement to violence. Account will be suspended.” 

Are you surprised that Elon found that line in the sand?

COLLINS: Everybody has their line. For Elon, it seems to be relatively capricious. It seems to be based on his feelings at the moment. 

PATTERSON: But, analysts worry while one famous user is being punished the real danger now has an open platform. 

So, Musk says the decision to allow Ye back on the platform in the first place had nothing to do with him and was made well before he took over, no word on the estimated length of that ban though. Guys. 

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