Twitter has dissolved its Trust and Safety Council, the advisory group of nearly 100 independent civil, human rights and other organisations.
The company, now run by Elon Musk, formed the council in 2016 to address hate speech, child exploitation, suicide, self-harm and other problems on the platform.
It had been scheduled to meet with Twitter representatives on Monday night. But, according to multiple members, Twitter informed the group via email shortly before the meeting was to take place, that it was disbanding it.
The council members, who provided images of the email from Twitter to Associated Press, spoke on the condition of anonymity due to fears of retaliation
The email, which was signed “Twitter”, read: “Our work to make Twitter a safe, informative place will be moving faster and more aggressively than ever before, and we will continue to welcome your ideas going forward about how to achieve this goal.”
The platform had confirmed, only four days ago, a meeting with the council and an “open conversation and Q&A” with Twitter staff, including the new head of trust and safety, Ella Irwin, would go ahead.
The volunteer group provided expertise and guidance on how Twitter could better combat hate, harassment and other harms, but didn’t have any decision-making authority and didn’t review specific content disputes.
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Shortly after buying Twitter for $44 billion in late October, Musk said he would form a new “content moderation council” to help make major decisions, but later changed his mind.
Last week, three council members announced they were resigning in a public statement posted on Twitter that said “contrary to claims by Elon Musk, the safety and wellbeing of Twitter’s users are on the decline”.