Under Elon Musk, Twitter ‘takes child exploitation seriously’

Twitter “takes child exploitation seriously,” said the Child Sexual Exploitation Platform (CSE)’s harshest critic. Teslarati in an exclusive interview.

Eliza Bleu is a human trafficking survivor and advocates for the victims, especially children. Bleu has been pressuring Twitter to remove CSE material on a large scale for several years, and until the Elon Musk acquisition, Twitter was slow to remove most of the content. she said Teslarati that she is excited about the new changes the platform is implementing under the new leadership of Elon Musk.

She pointed out that under the new leadership, Twitter “takes child exploitation seriously.” However, much remains to be done. There is an ongoing lawsuit against the social media platform that started before Elon Musk bought it. Plaintiffs John Doe 1 and John Doe 2 were minors who were being sexually exploited, and videos of that exploitation were posted to Twitter. When the two, who are now adults, asked Twitter to remove the content, Twitter declined.

The content, which the plaintiffs wanted Twitter to remove, had over 167,000 views and 2,223 retweets.

Photo credits: Eliza Bleu; Screenshots of Twitter’s updated reporting system.

Bleu pointed out some key changes Twitter has made under his new leadership. The first changes concerned the reporting system. In a tweet thread, Bleu made suggestions for Twitter, and so far the platform has acted on two of those suggestions. The first is clear and simple reporting. Twitter has implemented a two-click reporting feature for children reporting their own abuse material.

Bleu noted that there also needs to be a separate tab for adults experiencing sexual exploitation. “It needs to be crystal clear for both adults and children experiencing sexual exploitation, and the reporting options need to be separate.”

The other major issue that the platform has been noticeably working on is the removal of hashtags known to be used to sell CSE. These are well-known hashtags used for trading CSE on the platform. In the video below, attorneys Lisa Haba and Peter Gentala, the two attorneys for John Doe 1 and John Doe 2, explain how these tags are used.

These hashtags are mentioned in the lawsuit and Teslarati examined them to determine if the platform actually removed the content. We found that Twitter removes most content; However, there are still accounts that make requests for content.

The screenshot below shows that Twitter has removed content from the Recent tabs for one of these top hashtags. The tabs for “Photos” and “Videos” were also empty. However, the Top Tweets section still contained CSE requests and used several other tags. Unfortunately, some of these tags are still very active. Bleu noted that the predators will continue to post with a variety of tags, but the tags could help authorities catch the criminals — which is one of the reasons Teslarati does not publish the tags.

in the her tweet thread, Bleu noted that some of the tags outside of the top three are actively involved in sharing and posting illegal content. Bleu tells Teslarati that Twitter’s new sense of urgency makes them hopeful.

“After years of campaigning for the little survivors of Twitter, I’ve never been more hopeful than I am right now. I don’t expect perfection from a platform. All I ever wanted was to see a sense of urgency in something this serious. In many of these cases, it is a matter of life or death for every victim, so every second counts.”

Bleu’s proposal for Twitter is to continue to prioritize the removal of the CSE content, review reports, review all backlogs of all reports, and work hand-in-hand with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. She added that Twitter should use all available technology to circumvent this problem.

“There’s a lot of free technology that’s being used by platforms that’s had a lot of success,” Bleu added. Her final request to Twitter and Elon Musk is to “address this issue comprehensively without violating the digital privacy rights of innocent citizens.”

Your feedback is welcome. If you have any comments, concerns, or see a typo, you can email me at [email protected]. You can also reach me on Twitter at @JohnnaCrider1.

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Under Elon Musk, Twitter ‘takes child exploitation seriously’

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