Twitter Confuses Health Team Amid Spam Bot Controversy 2022
Social media company Twitter Inc is integrating teams working to reduce toxic content and spam bots
Twitter Inc is integrating teams working to reduce toxic content and spam, according to an employee memo seen by Reuters on Tuesday that showed a former executive accused the company of failing to do both.
The social media company will combine a health-experienced team working to reduce misinformation and harmful content with a Twitter service team that reviews user-reported profiles and removes spam accounts. The new group will be called “Health Products and Services (HPS),” according to an email sent to employees.
Ella Irwin, vice president of product health and Twitter services, who joined the company in June, will lead the HPS team.
“We need teams to focus on specific issues, work together as a team and no longer work in isolation,” Irving wrote in an email to employees, adding that teams would “relentlessly prioritize” their projects.
The creation of the HPS team gained more importance as the company faced challenges on multiple fronts. Former security chief and notorious hacker Peiter “Mudge” Zatko has accused the company of misleading federal regulators in its defense against hackers and spam accounts.
Twitter is battling Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk in court as the world’s richest man tries to walk away from a $44 billion deal to buy the company, accusing it of withholding information about how spam account information was calculated.
Twitter said on Tuesday that Zatko’s allegations are aimed at attracting attention and harming the company, and said it insisted that spam and bot accounts be exposed.
Twitter is also preparing to bolster its defenses against the spread of misinformation ahead of the US midterm elections in November.
A Twitter spokesperson said the reorganization of the Toxic Content and Spam team “reflects our ongoing commitment to prioritizing and keeping our teams focused on achieving our goals.”
The move also comes as top executives, including Kayvon Beykpour and Bruce Falck, who oversee consumer products and revenue, have left the company in recent months amid disarray with Musk.
The team responsible for curbing harmful or toxic content has been hit hard recently by staff leaving, according to two employees who spoke on condition of anonymity.
At least one current employee said the restructuring did not appear to have a significant impact on their jobs.
A former Twitter security employee said he’s not optimistic that the restructuring will lead to improvements because the company’s spam account problems historically have deeper roots than those managed by a single team. He declined to be named for fear of affecting future job opportunities.
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