• Press Release

Amnesty International USA Statement on Twitter’s Human Rights, Ethics Layoffs

November 9, 2022

The Director of Amnesty International USA’s Silicon Valley Initiative, Michael Kleinman, issued the following statement in response to reports of layoffs at Twitter:

“We are incredibly concerned that, within a week of taking control of Twitter, Elon Musk has reportedly laid off Twitter’s Global Human Rights Team and Machine Learning Ethics, Transparency and Accountability teams. Amnesty has previously highlighted how Twitter has consistently failed to address hateful and abusive speech on the platform. The abuse is highly intersectional, with a disproportionate impact falling on women from marginalized communities. Amnesty’s research has also found that activists in the United States and worldwide suffer similar abuse. Under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, all companies have a responsibility to respect human rights. For Twitter this means that it must have operational structures in place to effectively address harmful and abusive conduct on its platform. It is hard to see how Twitter can uphold this responsibility given the company’s recent structural changes. We ask that advertisers, who also have human rights responsibilities with regard to their business relationships, carefully weigh not only Twitter’s human rights record to date, but also the impact of Twitter’s recent staff cuts, when deciding whether to advertise on the platform.”

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