Big Tech Companies Slash Censorship Teams as Legal Pressures Mount

Big Tech companies are making extensive cuts to their workforces amid multiple woes, according to reports.

Silicon Valley firms are slashing their censorship teams as legal pressures continue to mount.

Censorship teams appear to be losing steam amid growing legal scrutiny and waning popularity.

The Big Tech industry is also seeing wider mass layoffs across the board as social media companies become increasingly unpopular.

Google-owned video-streaming platform YouTube, for example, cut two of five “hate speech and harassments” policy experts, removed two of five “misinformation” experts, and reduced its policy enforcement and response teams, according to a report from the New York Times.

This comes after Alphabet, Google’s parent company, slashed around 12,000 employees in January.

Twitter’s reductions have been the most pronounced since Elon Musk’s takeover in late October.

Almost immediately after taking control of Twitter, Musk gutted the company of thousands of “woke” employees.

Musk has vowed to restore free speech on Twitter and has been reinstating most previously banned accounts.

In November, Musk laid off half of the company’s 8,000 employees after firing the executives who made some of the most controversial content moderation decisions.

Among those immediately fired by Musk was Twitter’s former Head of Legal Policy, Trust, and Safety Vijaya Gadde, also known as the “Censorship Chief.”

Gadde played a key role in the decision to remove President Donald Trump from the platform.

Angelo Carusone, president of “Media Matters for America,” the far-left group dedicated to promoting censorship and ad boycotts of right-leaning media, responded to the recent cuts by warning that “the war is not over.”

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“I wouldn’t say the war is over, but I think we’ve lost key battles,” Carusone told the NYT.

“I do think we, as a society, have lost the appetite to keep battling.

“And that means we will lose the war.”

Tech companies are now facing calls for accountability for the extensive influence they exercise over the content moderation process.

As Slay News reported, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) announced Monday that he’s launching an investigation into Big Tech censorship.

Cruz’s probe will focus on companies’ recommendation algorithms that “restrict the visibility of high-profile conservative accounts,” he wrote in a letter to Meta, Google, Twitter, and TikTok.

“Taken as a whole, these systems have an outsized impact—whether positive or negative—on the reach of content and accounts and, by extension, speech,” Cruz wrote.

Yet company mindsets on misinformation policies have largely not changed.

During a House Oversight Committee hearing last week, ex-Twitter executives were pressed on their role in suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop story.

Former head of Twitter’s Office of Trust and Safety Yoel Roth claimed during the hearing that Twitter’s censorship resulted in more speech.

“Again and again, we saw the speech of a small number of abusive users drive away countless others,” Roth said.

“Unrestricted free speech, paradoxically, results in less speech, not more.

“It was our job in Trust and Safety to try to strike an appropriate balance.”

READ MORE: EU Complains Twitter Not Interested in Complying with Censorship Demands

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By Frank Bergman

Frank Bergman is a political/economic journalist living on the east coast. Aside from news reporting, Bergman also conducts interviews with researchers and material experts and investigates influential individuals and organizations in the sociopolitical world.

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