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Amid mass Twitter layoffs, UN urges Elon Musk to ‘ensure human rights are central’ to company management

Amid mass Twitter layoffs, UN urges Elon Musk to ‘ensure human rights are central’ to company management

united nations human rights chief Volker Türk he called on Elon Musk, the new owner and CEO of Twitter, to “ensure that human rights are central to the governance of Twitter.”

The letter comes a day after the billionaire laid off half of Twitter’s workforce after announcing that he the social media platform was losing more than 4 million dollars a day.

Elon Musk with the Twitter logo

In this photo illustration, an image of Elon Musk is shown on a computer screen and the Twitter logo on a mobile phone in Ankara, Turkey, on October 6, 2022. (Muhammed Selim Korkutata / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images)

In an open letter published on Saturday, Türk wrote: “Respect for our common human rights guardrails should be put in place for the use and evolution of the platform.”

The head of the UN for human rights called Twitter’s “Chief Twit” to stand up for the right to privacy, and emphasized that Twitter has a responsibility to avoid spreading content that results in the violation of other people’s rights.

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Türk encouraged Musk to nurture users’ “rights to privacy and free expression.”

On the other hand, she included that “freedom of speech is not a free pass,” using the example of the spread of “harmful” misinformation from the COVID-19 pandemic “regarding vaccines.”

Twitter logo

A sign for Twitter’s headquarters is shown in San Francisco, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. Employees prepared for widespread layoffs at Twitter on Friday as new owner Elon Musk overhauls the social platform. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu/AP Newsroom)

Türk continued, claiming that Moderating content on Twitter should continue to ban “hate that incites discrimination,” adding that “they know that hate speech spreads like wildfire on social media platforms in countries with vastly different cultural, political and religious contexts – with horrific, life-threatening consequences for thousands of people .”

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Her words of warning come as the billionaire balances his promise to restore free speech on the social media platform while preventing the platform from from descending into a “free-for-all hell“, which he promised to prevent.

Türk’s open letter concluded by stating that “Twitter has much to offer our shared agenda for a better world, but we must be clear about what it takes to make it a reality.”

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