A Twitter account that posted an image from “one of the most notorious child abuse videos in the world,” the Washington Post reports, was reinstated after its right-wing followers appealed directly to Elon Musk. The poster says he wanted to “draw attention to child sex trafficking.”
Experts said that even photos that are partially obscured, such as the image shared by the influencer, typically qualify as illegal child sex abuse material, or CSAM.
“Generally speaking, even if it is redacted, if it’s clear it’s a child, it’s still CSAM,” said Gavin Portnoy, vice president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the congressionally chartered nonprofit that is the nation’s clearinghouse for battling child victimization.
Musk and Twitter did not respond to requests for comment.
Direct appeals from right-wing influencers to Musk frequently circumvents what little moderation and safety work still gets done at the site, and this seems to be another example of that: “For now, we will delete those posts and reinstate the account,” Musk posted, after confirming that the account was disabled because of the child sex image it posted.
Twitter’s “zero-tolerance” policy, last updated in 2020, says that “viewing, sharing, or linking to child sexual exploitation material contributes to the re-victimization of the depicted children” and is one of the platform’s “most serious violations.” The policy says that the consequence for violation “in the majority of cases … is immediate and permanent suspension.” It also says that, in a “limited number of situations, where we haven’t identified any malicious intent,” the content will be removed and the user will be temporarily locked out of their account.
Pour one out for all the hacks assigned to write about how Yaccarino is making Twitter safe for brands again.