Twitter locks out 'hundreds' of content-moderation workers. Now only about 15 people have keys to the system ahead of potential midterm disinformation, report says

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Only around 15 Twitter employees have access to content moderation tools, Bloomberg reported.

  • Twitter's Head of Safety and Integrity said the restrictions reduce opportunities for "insider risk."

  • But workers told Bloomberg it could cause misinformation to surge ahead of the midterm elections.

Twitter has cut off hundreds of employees from accessing its content-moderation system just ahead of the midterm elections as fears of disinformation loom, Bloomberg reported, citing two people familiar with the matter.

Access to the site's content-moderation tools was limited to about 15 people out of a team of "hundreds" after Elon Musk took over Twitter, the people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

It's not clear exactly how many people were affected among Twitter's Trust and Safety team, which can penalize accounts or alter content to combat disinformation or inappropriate content. That process requires human intervention, though, and now only about 15 people have keys to the systems to do that, Bloomberg reported. Meanwhile, tools for suspending or banning accounts have also been inaccessible since last week, the report said.

Twitter's head of safety and integrity, Yoel Roth, said the company still is enforcing "rules at scale," even with a smaller team having access to the tools.  He said — in a series of tweets — that the restrictions were part of an effort to keep rogue workers from changing programming code during the transition to Musk's ownership.

"This is exactly what we (or any company) should be doing in the midst of a corporate transition to reduce opportunities for insider risk," Roth tweeted.

Meanwhile, on Friday, Musk said that Twitter would form a new content moderation council. "No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes," he said.

But, several workers responsible for moderating content on the site expressed concern as to how Twitter would address misinformation related to the upcoming midterm elections with substantially fewer workers, Bloomberg reported.

Last week, Edward Perez, Twitter's former product director for civic integrity, told The Washington Post he is concerned Twitter will not be able to keep up with content moderation amid the shakeup in leadership.

Musk has repeatedly criticized Twitter's moderation efforts and indicated he would remove bans on several users. One of his first moves after taking control of the company was to fire Twitter's public policy and trust and safety lead, Vijaya Gadde – the woman responsible for banning former president Donald Trump. She was one of several executives to get the boot on Thursday night. It isn't clear whether Trump will be welcomed back to the site.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported on Friday that hate speech surged in the hours following news of Musk's $44 billion acquisition as right-wing users cheered the billionaire on.

"Free speech. Liberal tears," Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) tweeted on Friday.

Read Bloomberg's full report on its website. 

Read the original article on Business Insider