New York, December 12, 2022 – On Monday evening, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) received an email from Twitter announcing the company’s decision to dissolve the Trust and Safety Council, an advisory group comprised of civil society organizations of which CPJ is a longstanding member. According to the email, Twitter will continue to engage with partners through “bilateral or small group meetings” and “regional contacts.”
CPJ is deeply concerned by this move, which will abolish a longstanding engagement mechanism to mitigate potential harm to Twitter users, including journalists, on issues like hate speech.
“Mechanisms such as the Trust and Safety Council help platforms like Twitter to understand how to address harm and counter behavior that targets journalists,” said CPJ President Jodie Ginsberg. “Safety online can mean survival offline. Today’s decision to dissolve the Trust and Safety Council is cause for grave concern, particularly as it is coupled with increasingly hostile statements by Twitter owner Elon Musk about journalists and the media.
“Such statements foster distrust in the vital role journalists play in our societies. As a platform that has become a critical tool in both open and repressive countries, Twitter must play a constructive role in ensuring that journalists and the public at large are able to receive and impart information without fear of reprisals.”