Mar 14, 2024 - Technology

X removes Haiti video Elon Musk shared

Elon Musk response to an NBC news article critical of him.

X/@NBCNews

Elon Musk's X has removed a message shared by its owner that contained, per Bloomberg, an unverified video claiming to show evidence of cannibalism in Haiti.

Why it matters: Creating a platform for free speech was one of the main reasons Musk gave for his interest in buying X, and the billionaire's efforts to loosen moderation policies have been cheered by conservatives and criticized by many others.

Driving the news: Musk cited and reposted the video in his reply to a tweet by NBC.

  • NBC was promoting a story criticizing Musk and others for using the violent crisis in Haiti to spread rumors about cannibalistic practices among Haitian gang members and stoke racist fears of refugees who are fleeing those gangs.
  • X removed the post that included the video with a note that it violated X's rules.
  • X did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Between the lines: This is not the first time X (formerly Twitter) has attempted to moderate Musk's messages to his 176 million followers, and his posts have occasionally spurred retorts from X users via the Community Notes feature.

  • Musk has sometimes deleted his own posts containing misinformation after they've been debunked.

The big picture: Musk was a loud critic of the previous Twitter regime's moderation policies, and upon taking over the company he gutted the teams responsible for them.

  • According to a 2023 report from the Center for Countering Digital Hate, X failed to remove the vast majority of posts that were flagged to the platform for containing "extreme hate speech."

Our thought bubble: Musk's enthusiasm for freedom of speech sometimes seems to vanish when confronted with criticism.

  • This week former CNN anchor Don Lemon claimed that Musk cancelled his deal for a new show on X after Musk didn't like their "tense" interview.
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