X (formerly Twitter) CEO Linda Yaccarino boasted August 10 of how her platform’s safety tools can censor content while supposedly allowing free speech.
Yaccarino tried to reassure the public that Twitter does in fact still censor so-called “hateful content” when asked about "brand safety" in a CNBC Squawk on the Street interview with Co-Anchor Sara Eisen. Yaccarino broadcasted the full interview in a Twitter Space Thursday. “If it is lawful but it is awful, it’s extraordinarily difficult for you to see it,” Yaccarino bragged, explaining how X censors content and assures advertisers their ads will only appear with content they like. Yet Yaccarino also pretended loyalty to “free expression.”
“By all objective metrics, X is a much healthier and safer platform than it was a year ago,” Yaccarino claimed. “We have built brand safety and content moderation tools that have never existed before at this company.” She specifically cited the new policy that X owner Elon Musk and Yaccarino call “freedom of speech, not reach” as part of this content moderation (i.e. censorship).
Yaccarino explained the new policy. “So if you’re going to post something that’s illegal or against the law, you’re gone, zero tolerance. But, more importantly, if you’re going to post something that is lawful but it’s awful, you get labeled,” Yaccarino detailed. “You get labeled, you get deamplified—which means it cannot be shared—and it is certainly demonetized.”
The X CEO gleefully announced that big brands “are protected from the risk of being next to that content.” She didn’t seem worried about protecting users’ First Amendment right to free speech. In the past, Twitter has displayed a leftist bias while censoring supposed “misinformation” and “hate speech.”
Yaccarino was particularly proud to report that, after a post is labeled, 30 percent of users “staggeringly” take it down themselves. “Reducing that hateful content from being seen is one of the best examples of how X is committed to encouraging healthy behavior online,” Yaccarino bragged of the censorship, claiming that “99.9 percent” of impressions on Twitter “are healthy.”
Eisen self-righteously lectured about “conspiracy theories” and hysterically cited Kanye West and Musk himself. Yaccarino then gave a hypocritical nod to free speech. “You might not agree with what everyone is saying,” she told Eisen. “Free expression at its core will really, really only survive when someone you don’t agree with says something you don’t agree with.”
Brands are coming back to Twitter under Yaccarino’s influence, the X CEO insisted. “On Tuesday, we announced the rollout of all of our new safety tools,” Yaccarino explained. She described the censorship as a “security blanket” she gives advertisers to say “your ads will only air next to content that is appropriate for you, of your choice.” X also partnered with Integral Ad Science (IAS) for “transparency.” Again, Yaccarino’s focus was consistently about “protecting” brands, rather than protecting free speech.
Unfortunately, Yaccarino’s views are unsurprising since she came to Twitter from woke NBCUniversal and the anti-free speech World Economic Forum.
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