October 1, 2023

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Twitter’s CEO responsible for content safety resigns after criticism from Elon Musk

Twitter’s CEO responsible for content safety resigns after criticism from Elon Musk

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — One of Twitter’s top executives responsible for safety and content moderation has left the company, her departure coming shortly after owner Elon Musk. He publicly complained about the platform’s handling of posts about transgender topics.

The departure signaled a new wave of unrest among Twitter’s top officials since Musk took over last year.

Ella Irwin, Twitter’s head of trust and safety, confirmed her resignation in tweets late Friday. In the letter, she did not say why she was leaving, but her departure came shortly after Musk criticized Twitter’s handling of tweets about a conservative media company’s documentary questioning medical treatment for transgender children and teens.

Musk was responding to complaints from Jeremy Boring, co-CEO of the Daily Wire media company. Twitter was suppressing the film by flagging posts about it as hate speech and keeping the film off trending topic lists, Boring said in tweets and retweets to conservative commentators Thursday.

Boring tweeted that Twitter had canceled a deal for the premiere of “What’s a Woman?” free on the platform” due to two instances of “misinformation.” Twitter’s rules prohibit intentionally referring to transgender individuals with an incorrect name or gender.

This was a mistake made by many people on Twitter. “Whether or not you agree to use someone’s favorite pronouns is totally rude and certainly not against the laws,” Musk tweeted.

Irwin tweeted on Friday that “one or two people noticed” that she had left the company the day before, and noted speculation about whether she had been fired or quit. She teased that she would post 24 tweets to explain her departure.

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Then she posted that she was just joking about the long narrative.

“In all seriousness, I quit but this was a once in a lifetime experience and I am so grateful to be working with such an amazing team of passionate, creative and hardworking people. They will cheer you all on and Twitter as you go!”

Next to Musk, Irwin has been the most vocal voice for the company’s changing content policies in recent months.

Twitter has struggled to bring back advertisers shut down by Musk with sweeping changes and loosening of rules against hate speech since he bought Twitter for $44 billion in October. Twitter also has an upcoming CEO, Linda Yaccarino, who is known for her decades of experience in media and advertising, but she has yet to get started.

Irwin and Twitter did not respond to The Associated Press’ requests for comment.

Twitter has been in turmoil, including mass layoffs And voluntary departure since the billionaire Tesla bought the San Francisco company and took it private. The company’s head of trust and safety departed shortly after the acquisition, and employee turnover continued in the higher ranks. Last month, Twitter fired two of its top managers.