Musk contradicts Twitter security chief, denies statement as “fake news”
Since then the edge reported Since Twitter closed its communications office, it’s been harder to confirm information about the company, which seems to be the way CEO Elon Musk likes it. Increasingly, though, Twitter’s head of trust and safety, Ella Irwin, seems more willing to confirm or deny the rumors to the media, a move likely to upset Musk. Over the holiday weekend, Musk tweeted to directly contradict a statement Irwin provided to Reuterscausing even more confusion about what’s going on on Twitter and if there’s tension between Musk and Irwin.
The timeline of the contradictory statements was as follows: On Friday, December 23, Reuters reported that Twitter had apparently removed the #ThereIsHelp feature from the social media platform, which was designed to share suicide prevention resources alongside certain content.
Shortly after the Reuters report was published, Irwin emailed Reuters to confirm that the feature was “temporarily removed.” She said she would recover this week, once Twitter finished “fixing and renewing our directions.”
“We know they are useful and our intention was not to have them down permanently,” Irwin told Reuters.
The next day, at 6:27 a.m. on Christmas Eve, Musk tweeted to contradict Irwin’s statement, saying that the Reuters report was false and that the feature was never removed. In another tweet shortly after, Musk declared the Reuters report “fake news,” while reminding Twitter users that “Twitter doesn’t prevent suicide.”
About 12 hours later, Reuters confirmed that the feature was restored, which continues to contradict Musk’s statement that the feature was never removed. That second report attested that “two people familiar with the matter” said the #ThereIsHelp feature had been down for two days and claimed the takedown order came from Musk.
As of this writing, it’s still unclear which Twitter executive is telling the truth. a tweet the link to the initial Reuters report currently shows a community note sharing Musk’s statement clarifying that the report is false, suggesting that enough users rated Musk’s statement above Irwin’s. Musk did not respond to Twitter Blue’s legacy blue checks and verified blue checks tweets, asking if he was calling Irwin a “liar” or if planned to fire Irwin.
Twitter did not respond to Ars’s request for clarification. Perhaps due to the holidays, Irwin has gone silent on Twitter; Her last tweet was sent on December 20.
According to her Linkedin Profile, Irwin joined Twitter’s trust and safety team last June, after working in similar roles at Google, Amazon and Twilio. She rose to the top position of trust and security after Yoel Roth left Twitter shortly after Musk took over.
Many Twitter users became familiar with Irwin after his handle appeared as a watermark during Musk’s release of “The Twitter Files,” indicating that she was the one who fed the internal files of the journalists Twitter.
A few days later, when Twitter began suspending journaliststhe Washington Post reported that internally, the suspensions were marked as ordered not by Musk, but by “Ella’s direction.”
It’s possible that after a few media cycles looking at Twitter’s security features, Irwin’s interest in setting the record straight has grown and she’ll probably just continue to be scrutinized for any changes to trust and safety policy as long as she remains at Twitter. But with the communications department seemingly non-existent, and after Musk’s rush to contradict one of the few official statements provided by a Twitter executive to the media since he took control, it seems unlikely that Irwin will clarify anytime soon if he made any statements.” false” about the removal of Twitter. suicide prevention function.
While Irwin faced some backlash from users defending Musk as a true truth teller, Musk was busy introducing another new Twitter feature that has turned controversial. On December 22, Twitter added Views to the other metrics that are publicly displayed on tweets. These view counts now appear alongside likes, comments, and retweets.
However, over the next two days, many users criticized the new feature. Some suggested that it went against research on platforms like Facebook and Instagram and could have a negative impact on the mental health of Twitter users. But perhaps millions more hated the feature simply because how weird the views display looked stuck next to retweets and likes. By December 24, musk announced that soon Twitter users will be able to disable the feature.
“I think almost everyone will like it,” Musk tweeted, almost as if it were his Christmas wish to introduce a universally popular Twitter feature and happily rid himself of all the backlash he’s faced since taking over as Chief Twit.