CEO Linda Yaccarino cites X’s ongoing safety issues, stemming from Elon Musk’s actions, as the reason for her cancellations.
Credit: Harun Ozalp/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

X, previously known as Twitter, faced unprecedented disinformation over the weekend revolving around the Israel-Palestine conflict, leading to Linda Yaccarino, X’s CEO, canceling a scheduled public appearance to focus on addressing the platform’s safety concerns.

Yaccarino’s decision follows a widely criticized appearance at another tech conference, coinciding with a surge in disinformation, traced back to Elon Musk, X’s owner and a significant source of the problem.

X’s Inadequate Handling of Disinformation

As the conflict in Israel escalated, X struggled to effectively manage the influx of misleading information. While Musk’s acquisition of Twitter had promised changes, the platform’s repute for real-time updates made it susceptible to an information crisis, accentuated by alterations introduced under Musk’s leadership, causing disinformation to thrive.

For instance, a notable number of disinformation promoters were X Premium subscribers, a subscription service introduced by Musk. This service, which previously operated as Twitter Blue, provided unchecked legitimacy to users, leveraging algorithms to promote their disinformation, further fueled by a monetization program rewarding viral content.

Elon Musk Endorses Disseminators of Falsehoods

The platform’s issues weren’t solely system-based. Musk’s Saturday endorsement of two X users known for disseminating false content revealed a deeper problem. These users, benefiting from X Premium subscriptions and the platform’s monetization program, were found promoting biased and factually incorrect information, encompassing bigoted views and spreading false narratives.

Musk eventually retracted his support after encountering pushback from the accounts, shedding light on his complicity in promoting misinformation.

Yaccarino’s Cancellation and Its Implications

Yaccarino’s recent cancellation of a tech event amid the unfolding crisis raises questions. While it’s reasonable for an executive to adjust plans due to unforeseen events, her decision also follows a previous public appearance marred by missteps, coinciding with an ongoing crisis largely influenced by Musk’s involvement. Yaccarino’s role in mitigating these issues remains unclear, as the problems stem from decisions and adjustments within teams overseen by Musk.

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