In a report by Bloomberg, X has confirmed that it will be opening a new Trust and Safety office in Austin, Texas to focus on content moderation on the platform. The team will be focusing on CSE content primarily and will be the first team that has been set up by Musk since he took over and promptly fired the previous team from Twitter.
Elon Musk was not afraid of laying off staff when he first took over the social media platform back in November 2022, and this move comes as CEO Linda Yaccarino faces a hearing with the U.S Senate Judiciary Committee on how platforms such as X (formerly Twitter) aim to protect children who access it.
The hearing on 31st January 2024 will call on CEOs from many social media companies, including Discord, Meta, Snap, and TikTok, and effectively states that social media companies have failed to police themselves and congress now must take action and introduce legislation to protect children.
The legislation, which was first proposed in a hearing in February 2023, reported multiple bipartisan bills including:
- The STOP CSAM Act, which supports victims and increases accountability and transparency for online platforms;
- The EARN IT Act, which removes tech’s blanket immunity from civil and criminal liability under child sexual abuse material laws and establishes a National Commission on Online Child Sexual Exploitation Prevention;
- The SHIELD Act, which ensures that federal prosecutors have appropriate and effective tools to address the nonconsensual distribution of sexual imagery;
- The Project Safe Childhood Act, which modernizes the investigation and prosecution of online child exploitation crimes; and,
- The REPORT Act, which combats the rise in online child sexual exploitation by establishing new measures to help strengthen reporting of those crimes to the CyberTipline.
Bloomberg also reported that X’s Head of Business Operations, Joe Benarroch, said that the Trust and Safety team would also help with other types of content moderation such as hate speech, spam, and fraud, not just limiting their roles to the primary focus of the department.