March 28, 2023

Reps. Takano, Schiff, Urge Elon Musk to Act Against Rising Hate Speech on Twitter

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) urged Elon Musk to address the continued rise in hate speech on Twitter, citing a recent study that found a 119% increase in anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and slurs on the platform since Musk took over.

"New studies have demonstrated, once again, that hate speech has dramatically increased on the platform. As a result of these studies, we have new data showing that Twitter is not adequately or consistently acting on the hate speech on the platform," Takano and Schiff wrote in the letter to Musk.

Today's letter coincides with a Center for Countering Digital Hate study that found the 119% increase in anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and slurs on the platform, which expands on previous studies that found spikes in hate speech after Musk reinstated tens of thousands of accounts espousing antisemitic, anti-LGBTQ+, bigoted, misogynistic, and racist ideologies.

Takano and Schiff, themselves targets of anti-LGBTQ+, antisemitic, and racist speech on Twitter, have repeatedly sounded alarm of the increased levels of hate speech on Twitter, raising concerns about the extreme spike in the number of tweets that include slurs, the level of engagement with these tweets, and the popularity of spreading this harmful rhetoric following layoffs at the social media company. Takano and Schiff raised similar concerns in a previous letter, to which Elon Musk responded on Twitter that one of the Members had a brain that “was too small.”

Read the full letter here.