UN Human Rights chief urges Musk to create safe space on Twitter

The letter was issued shortly after Musk announced massive layoffs at the company, including of the human rights team. Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk issued an open letter to Elon Musk, urging him to ensure human rights are central to the management of Twitter.

This content was published on November 6, 2022 - 15:34

“Twitter is part of a global revolution that has transformed how we communicate. But I write with concern and apprehension about our digital public square and Twitter’s role in it,” the head of the Geneva-based UN agency stated in the letter External linksent to the new CEO of Twitter on Saturday.

“Like all companies, Twitter needs to understand the harms associated with its platform and take steps to address them. Respect for our shared human rights should set the guardrails for the platform’s use and evolution.”

The letter came shortly after Musk announced massive layoffs at Twitter including its entire human rights team and all but two of the ethical AI team. This is not an “encouraging start,” said Türk.

The UN Human Rights chief set out six priorities as Musk moves ahead with plans to overhaul the company just a week after taking over as CEO. This includes protection for freedom of speech and transparent reporting on government requests that infringe those rights, as well as content moderation that bars hatred on the platform that incites discrimination or violence.

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