(Sydney) Elon Musk’s Company

The eSafety regulator said these “deep cuts” and the reinstatement of thousands of banned accounts had created “the worst possible situation” for the spread of harmful content.

In recent months, the regulator has focused particularly on X, previously saying its takeover by Mr Musk coincided with a spike in “toxicity and hatred” on the social network formerly known as Twitter.

Using Australia’s Online Safety Act, the eSafety Commission obtained a detailed list of software engineers, content moderators and other security personnel working at X.

The commissioner of the Australian regulator, Julie Inman Grant, herself a former employee of Twitter, clarified that this was the first time that these figures had been made public.

They showed that 1,213 moderation staff specialists, including contractors, had left X since it was acquired by Elon Musk in October 2022, including 80% software engineers.

“Removing 80% of these specialized engineers is as if Volvo, renowned for its safety standards, separated itself from all its designers or engineers,” she told AFP.

According to her, this is “the worst situation. You are significantly lowering your defenses and introducing repeat offenders to the platform again. »

In October, the eSafety Commission fined X A$610,500, or US$410,000, saying the platform failed to clearly demonstrate that it was tackling the proliferation of child sexual assault content.

But X ignored the deadline to pay the fine, before launching legal action to have it overturned.

The company did not respond to AFP’s request for comment, instead sending an automated response saying “busy at the moment, please check back later.”