Many climate scientists have abandoned Twitter since Musk took over in October 2022. — © AFP
Twitter’s head of trust and safety on Friday confirmed she had quit the company, her departure coming after owner Elon Musk endorsed an anti-transgender video shared on the platform.
“I know there’s been a lot of speculation regarding what happened,” read a post on Ella Irwin’s Twitter account late Friday, a day after her resignation was reported in US media.
“I did resign but this has been a once in a lifetime experience,” she added, without revealing any reason for suddenly leaving her job at Twitter.
Irwin is the second head of trust and safety to quit Twitter since eccentric billionaire Musk bought the platform and reduced content moderation to essentially permit anything allowed by law.
Since taking over Twitter in late October, Musk has repeatedly courted controversy, sacking most of its staff, readmitting banned accounts to the platform, suspending journalists and charging for previously free services.
Musk said during a CNBC interview in May that he will continue to tweet his unfiltered thoughts even if it hurts his businesses.
“I don’t care,” the billionaire said when asked what he thought of his controversial tweets making it harder to sell ads on Twitter or hurting the share price of Tesla, his electric vehicle manufacturing business.
“I’ll say what I want to say and if the consequence of that is losing money, so be it.”
Irwin’s departure came as Twitter was under pressure by backers of an anti-transgender video called “What Is A Woman” who claimed Twitter went back on a deal to distribute the content free on the platform.
Backers of the video contended the video was being suppressed at Twitter for not using people’s chosen pronouns when it came to gender identification.
Musk said in a Twitter exchange with the conservative outlet behind the video that people had made a mistake and the video, while possibly “rude,” was not against the law.
A post for the video reading “Every parent should watch this” was pegged to the top of Musk’s Twitter account as of late Friday.
At least one other high level Twitter executive left after the incident, according to US media reports.
The controversy comes just weeks before respected media and advertising executive Linda Yaccarino is to replace Musk as Twitter’s chief executive.
Moves made by Musk have spooked advertisers, many of whom left the platform due to concerns over their products being associated with troubling content.
Since Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion, its value has plummeted with the return of far-right figures and loss of trust by users.