Elon Musk’s X aims to hire 100 content moderators in Texas by end of 2024

AUSTIN – Social media company X, formerly known as Twitter, is in the process of hiring 100 content moderators for a new office in Austin, Texas that will focus on fighting child abuse content, a goal it hopes to complete by the end of the year, an X executive said on Jan 27.

The Elon Musk-owned company announced the new “Trust and Safety centre of excellence” ahead of a US Senate hearing on Jan 31 about online child sexual exploitation. X chief executive Linda Yaccarino is scheduled to testify, along with the CEOs of Meta Platforms, Snap, TikTok and Discord.

“The team is currently being built,” said Mr Joe Benarroch, X’s head of business operations, referring to the Austin office, adding the goal to fill the positions by the end of the year is dependent on finding the right talent.

The group will focus on fighting material related to child sexual exploitation, but will help enforce the social media platform’s other rules, which include restrictions on hate speech and violent posts, he added. The company did not specify when this new centre will be operational.

“X does not have a line of business focused on children, but it’s important that we make these investments to keep stopping offenders from using our platform for any distribution or engagement with CSE content,” Mr Benarroch said. People must be at least 13 years old to open an account on X, and the company says less than 1 per cent of its daily users are between the ages of 13 and 17. Those 17 and under cannot be targeted by advertisers.

Since Musk acquired the company formerly known as Twitter in 2022, the billionaire has been criticised for his own controversial posts and his efforts to overhaul the platform’s content moderation policies.

In a blog post on Jan 26, X said it suspended 12.4 million accounts last year for violating its rules against child sexual exploitation, which it said was up from 2.3 million account suspensions in 2022.

The new Austin centre will also help the company fight other types of harmful content, X said. REUTERS, BLOOMBERG

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