Elon Musk told ex-Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey 'almost no one was working on child safety' when he took over

Elon Musk told ex-Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey 'almost no one was working on child safety' when he took over
Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey had a back-and-forth about who was right on the actions Twitter took to ensure child safety.Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images
  • Elon Musk tweeted it was a "crime" child safety wasn't prioritized at Twitter before he took over.
  • Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey responded via Twitter that Musk's claim was "false".

Elon Musk said it was a crime that former Twitter executives "refused to take action against child exploitation," telling cofounder Jack Dorsey via Twitter that "almost no one was working on child safety" until he took over on October 27.

In a series of tweets on Friday, Musk and Dorsey debated who was telling the truth about whether the social media platform prioritized child protection before Musk bought Twitter.

Musk responded to a user who shared a 2021 New York Post article about how Twitter refused to remove child porn because it didn't violate the platform's policies, saying it was a "crime" that Twitter hadn't taken action on child exploitation on the platform "for years". Dorsey responded that Musk's claim was "false."

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Musk contradicted Dorsey and said: "When Ella Irwin, who now runs Trust & Safety, joined Twitter earlier this year, almost no one was working on child safety."

He added that Irwin, the trust and safety chief since November 18, previously raised her concerns with former CEO Parag Agrawal and ex-chief financial officer Ned Segal, but according to Musk, "they rejected her staffing request."


The billionaire concluded that he's made it his "top priority," before adding that Segal had "super messed up priorities."

Despite Musk's claims, only one Twitter employee was left on a team dedicated to removing child sexual abuse material across Japan and the Asia-Pacific region, Wired reported last month.

Three members of Twitter's Trust and Safety Council resigned on Thursday. The departing members are Anne Collier, founder, and executive director of The Net Safety Collaborative; Eirliani Abdul Rahman, co-founder of Youth, Adult Survivors & Kin In Need; and Lesley Podesta, an adviser to the Young and Resilient Research Center at Western Sydney University.

Musk has called himself a "free speech absolutist," which experts and advocates say could weaken Twitter's ability to effectively address hate speech, misinformation, and harassment.

Twitter didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider and Dorsey couldn't be contacted directly.