Next year will see dozens of elections around the globe, but X (formerly Twitter) has seemingly abdicated responsibility for protecting users from misinformation during these democratic processes.
Several European staffers working on a threat disruption team for the social platform, including senior manager Aaron Rodericks, have been fired this week, according to a report in the tech publication The Information that cited anonymous sources familiar with the matter. Site owner Elon Musk confirmed the termination of the team members on Wednesday.
Last month, Rodericks, a Canadian senior manager based in Ireland, posted on LinkedIn that he was looking to hire eight staffers ahead of more than 70 elections worldwide in 2024, to work on combating material that could undermine democracy. “If you have a passion for protecting the integrity of elections and civic events, X is certainly at the centre of the conversation!” he wrote. The new employees would work at one of several U.S. offices, or in Toronto, Dublin, or Singapore. X’s Safety team likewise announced that they were “expanding our safety and elections teams to focus on combating manipulation, surfacing inauthentic accounts and closely monitoring the platform for emerging threats.”
But Rodericks — whose law firm did not respond to multiple requests for comment on his apparent termination by X — never got the chance to build his team. [Continue reading…]