Published at: 1 Oct, 2023, 23:17 [IST]
In a surprising move, Company X (formerly known as Twitter) has decided to make significant changes to its election integrity team, including letting go of its head. This decision was first reported by The Information and has been partially confirmed by none other than Elon Musk himself in a recent post. This development comes at a crucial juncture when the platform has faced criticism from the European Commission for its ongoing struggle with disinformation issues. Just recently, the company had pledged to bolster its election integrity team ahead of the 2024 US elections.
It has been reported that Company X has parted ways with all four members of its election integrity team based in Dublin, Ireland, including their leader, Aaron Rodericks. However, this move appears to contradict the statement made by CEO Linda Yaccarino just a day earlier in The Financial Times, where she indicated plans to expand the safety and election teams on a global scale.
Elon Musk himself confirmed the personnel changes within the election integrity department in a tweet, saying, “Oh, you mean the ‘Election Integrity’ Team that was undermining election integrity? Yeah, they’re gone.”
Not too long ago, Company X had made headlines by announcing its intention to hire a civic integrity and elections lead, with Aaron Rodericks leading the team as a senior manager. Their primary objective was to combat disinformation on the platform. However, Rodericks found himself in hot water after allegedly liking tweets critical of Musk, Yaccarino, and their employer, Company X. This led to disciplinary action against him and a temporary suspension.
In response, Rodericks obtained an Irish court injunction to halt what he deemed baseless employment proceedings. He claimed to have received abusive messages after posting job openings for the integrity team.
It’s worth noting that before Elon Musk’s acquisition of the company for a whopping $44 billion last year, Company X had approximately 24 employees dedicated to election integrity. However, recent reports suggest that there might now be only six staff members remaining in this department, despite Musk’s prior indications of strengthening the team. The “Trust and Safety” team within Company X had also reportedly been planning to expand its efforts to combat disinformation.