A few months ago, Australia’s minister for communications Michelle Rowland sent a letter to Twitter asking how the platform would comply with the Online Safety Act after it laid off over half of its employees. Twitter is yet to respond to that letter.
Soon after Elon Musk acquired Twitter, he terminated over half of the workforce in order to cut costs at the company that was notoriously losing money.
Musk did not break any law in doing so. However, the Online Safety Act of Australia demands platforms like Twitter to proactively protect users from “harmful” and “abusive” content. The legislation also requires platforms to have systems for handling complaints.
According to authorities, Twitter’s lack of response to the minister’s letter underscores the concerns that it is not in a position to handle complaints by individual users.
“I could not be clearer that we do not rule out the potential for further regulation within this area, or at least enforcement of the existing regulatory regime in the event that they are failing to live up to the expectations of industry,” Rowland said in a press conference where she announced an increase in funding for e-safety projects.
According to Australia’s e-safety commissioner Julie Inman Grant, Twitter now allows “anything.”
“Anything goes these days on Twitter,” she said, as quoted by The Register. “They’re weaponizing. What do you expect? I’ve said this before, but you know, you let sewer rats, and you let all these people who have been suspended back on the platform while you get rid of the Trust and Safety people and processes.
“To be treated with that kind of disrespect, and think you’re going to get a better, more engaging product that protects the brand, is pretty crazy. And of course brands are walking … and people aren’t signing up for Twitter Blue. Nobody really wants to be on a platform that feels toxic or feels unsafe.”