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‘I have never experienced more harassment’: AOC responds to Twitter’s claim of overwhelmingly ‘healthy’ content on the platform

In a surprising revelation, Twitter Safety declared that over 99% of the content users and advertisers encounter on the platform is deemed “healthy,” with “hate speech” making up only a small fraction. However, Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York responded to the tweet with a sarcastic “lololol,” as she opened up about her own experiences on the platform, expressing that she has never faced more harassment than she is currently enduring.

“More than 99% of content users and advertisers see on Twitter is healthy. (theblaze.com) And the reach of hate speech on Twitter continues to represent an extremely small fraction of the overall conversation,” proclaimed Twitter Safety in their tweet. The platform highlighted their collaboration with Sprinklr, an AI-based model, to comprehend, quantify, and reduce hate speech, ensuring a brand-safe environment for agencies and advertisers. According to the tweet, Sprinklr’s independent model reveals that daily English-language hate speech impressions are significantly lower than Twitter’s own model estimates, with the average daily number being 0.003% compared to Twitter’s estimate of 0.012% for the period between January 1, 2023, and May 31, 2023. Additionally, hate speech impressions are estimated to be 30% lower on average versus the pre-acquisition period.

Elon Musk chimed in with praise for the X/Twitter team, applauding their efforts. However, Ocasio-Cortez had a markedly different perspective, asserting that she is currently facing unprecedented levels of harassment on the platform. She revealed that individuals are now paying to give their harassment more visibility, and the de-verification of journalists, civic organizations, and public figures has resulted in disjointed conversations and difficulties in following discussions. Her candid admission highlights the personal toll and challenges faced by public figures in navigating social media spaces.

The statistics shared by Twitter Safety might depict a seemingly positive picture of minimal hate speech; however, Ocasio-Cortez’s personal experience provides a contrasting and emotional insight into the darker side of the platform. As a prominent political figure, she has become a target of harassment, and her plea for a more usable and safe Twitter reflects the broader concerns many individuals have regarding online abuse and toxicity.

Social media platforms like Twitter have become a double-edged sword, offering a platform for free expression, information dissemination, and political discourse, but also serving as a breeding ground for hate speech, harassment, and the spread of misinformation. Striking a balance between free speech and curbing harmful content remains a complex challenge for tech companies and policymakers alike. While AI-based models, like the one Twitter employs, aim to identify and reduce hate speech, the reality is that some forms of online abuse can still evade detection, causing real harm to individuals and society at large.

Ocasio-Cortez’s candid remarks invite readers to empathize with her struggles, but they also serve as a reminder of the wider implications of online harassment and its potential impact on public discourse. As politically mature readers from the USA, what are your thoughts on this ongoing issue? Have you experienced or witnessed online harassment affecting political conversations? Share your insights in the comments below, and let us engage in a meaningful dialogue about the challenges of navigating social media in the realm of politics.