Twitter has lost another key executive in the form of Ella Irwin, who was serving as the top executive for content moderation. This development comes after Elon Musk purchased the company last year. According to reports, Irwin has resigned, but she has not revealed the reason for her departure. The timing of her exit has raised eyebrows, as it came just after Twitter reportedly canceled a deal with conservative publication The Daily Wire to premiere its film on the site titled ‘What is a Woman?’
Yoel Roth had held the position of head of trust and safety before taking his leave in November 2022, and had once claimed that Twitter would be safer under Musk. However, he later walked back on his statement, possibly as a result of controversy and criticism aimed at Musk’s approach to content moderation. Like Roth, Irwin had showed her support for the owner, who has held that he is a “free speech absolutist.” Irwin previously claimed that Musk gave her team the permission to prioritize safety and not be concerned about the impact it would have on user numbers.
The Center for Countering Digital Hate recently shared findings that Twitter has been failing to efficiently tackle 99% of hate speech, including neo-Nazi, racist, homophobic and transphobic content, posted on the website by Twitter Blue users.
The Daily Wire’s film is believed to have led to Irwin’s departure, as the site allegedly canceled a deal to premiere the film on the social media platform. Although co-founder Jeremy Boreing claimed that Twitter offered the publication the chance to buy a special Twitter event page to promote the movie, it later withdrew the offer after watching a screener. According to The Daily Wire, Twitter said that the outlet could not purchase the package and would limit the reach of the movie while labeling it with “hateful conduct” due to misgendering. In response to Boreing’s tweet, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the decision was a mistake made by several individuals at Twitter. He further noted that using someone’s pronouns was a polite thing to do, but not doing so was not illegal.
Twitter is said to be updating its system to ensure that The Daily Wire’s followers see the film in their feed. However, it will not be recommended to non-followers or advertised.
Irwin’s departure is another loss for the company, even as the firm faces multiplying challenges. The social platform has seen a slew of resignations and firings of top executives. There are also concerns about the platform’s decline and growth being stagnant, especially after Musk bought the company. Some have critiqued the owner’s approach and implored him to take on an interim CEO to help guide the platform. Musk is reportedly confident, as he has been actively testing new features that include the automatic translation of posts written in other languages.
Recent reports suggest that Twitter is enlisting former Apple executive Eduardo Cue as its new CEO. Cue was previously the head of Apple’s services division before leaving the company last year. Although this appointment has not been confirmed, it may help quell concerns and give Twitter a new sense of direction while providing a fresh perspective on how to manage Twitter’s challenges.
In conclusion, Irwin’s resignation is another blow to the already struggling platform. Her departure, coming after the company canceled The Daily Wire’s film premier, raises several questions about the effectiveness of Twitter’s content moderation policy. The move to hire a new CEO could prove to be a step in the right direction, providing a fresh outlook and creative strategies to overcome the challenges facing Twitter. As the social media platform faces multiple threats, many are hoping that the changes that will be implemented will help propel the platform forward and secure its future.