Elon Musk, Tesla and Twitter

Elon Musk’s X Appoints New Head of Safety Amidst Content Concerns

In response to ongoing concerns over the proliferation of controversial content on Elon Musk’s social media platform X, the company has appointed a new head of safety, Kylie McRoberts, a seasoned veteran from the formerly known Twitter.

McRoberts, who brings almost four years of experience from Twitter, will lead X’s global safety team and spearhead the establishment of a new safety hub in Austin, Texas, as announced by CEO Linda Yaccarino earlier this year.

This appointment follows the departure of the previous safety leader, Ella Irwin, nine months ago. Irwin’s exit came amidst heightened scrutiny over X’s handling of hateful speech and conspiracy theories on the platform. Since Musk’s acquisition of X, the company has faced criticism for rolling back safety measures and reinstating accounts associated with rule violations.

Yale Cohen, a former executive at marketing firm Publicis Media, has also been brought on board as the head of brand safety and advertising solutions, as X seeks to attract advertisers back to the platform.

However, both McRoberts and Cohen may encounter challenges in their roles, particularly concerning Musk’s own behaviour on the platform. Musk has come under fire for using X to promote radical conspiracy theories, prompting concerns about the platform’s credibility and safety standards.

In response to these concerns, X stated that McRoberts would focus on developing new safety products, tools, and features to protect the platform and its community, shifting the focus away from content moderation towards compliance with existing laws.

McRoberts’ background in privacy and cybersecurity at Google suggests a potential shift in X’s safety approach, aligning more closely with Musk’s vision of ensuring compliance while avoiding censorship.

Musk himself emphasized this shift by renaming the “Trust and Safety” team to simply the “Safety” team, stating, “Any organization that puts ‘Trust’ in their name cannot be trusted.” As X navigates these changes, the appointment of McRoberts marks a significant step in addressing safety concerns and reshaping the platform’s image.

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