Twitter trolls are back with racist, bigoted posts


An emboldened cast of anonymous trolls spewed racist slurs and Nazi memes onto Twitter in the hours after billionaire industrialist Elon Musk took over the social network, raising fears that his pledge of unrestricted free speech could fuel a new wave of online hate.

The flood of racist posts was among the most prominent signs of how Twitter had changed in the first hours of Musk’s ownership. But those who were expecting even bigger changes, such as the restoration of former president Donald Trump’s account and the layoff of hundreds if not thousands of Twitter employees, will have to wait longer.

Musk on Friday tweeted that he would make “no major content decisions or account reinstatements” until the convening of a new “moderation council.” He promised that the council would have “widely diverse viewpoints” but offered no other information about who would be on it, how its members would be selected, what authority it would have or whether its views would be binding on the company.

Musk’s social media rival Mark Zuckerberg, chief of Facebook’s parent company, Meta, also turned to an outside group — known as the Oversight Board — to pass judgment on Facebook’s social media moderation actions after years of public criticism of its decisions. But whether Musk has a similar arrangement in mind was unknown.

Paul M. Barrett, the deputy director of New York University’s Center for Business and Human Rights, said such a council under Musk would face even more

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