Elon Musk’s social media company, X, is actively recruiting 100 content moderators for its upcoming office in Austin, Texas. The primary focus of this new office is to combat child abuse content, with the company aiming to complete the hiring process by the end of the year, according to X executive Joe Benarroch. The announcement of the “Trust and Safety Center of Excellence” precedes a US Senate hearing on January 31, addressing online child sexual exploitation. X Chief Executive Linda Yaccarino is scheduled to testify alongside CEOs from Meta Platforms, Snap, TikTok, and Discord.
Joe Benarroch, X’s Head of Business Operations, confirmed that the team for the Austin office is currently in the process of being assembled. The company’s goal is to fill all positions by the end of the year, contingent on finding suitable talent. Since Elon Musk acquired the company, formerly known as Twitter, in 2022, he has faced criticism for his own controversial posts and his efforts to revamp the platform’s content moderation policies.
In a recent blog post, X disclosed that it suspended 12.4 million accounts in the previous year for violating rules against child sexual exploitation. This represents a substantial increase from the 2.3 million account suspensions in 2022. The new Austin centre will not only focus on combatting child abuse content but will also contribute to the company’s efforts to address various forms of harmful content, as stated by X.
The move to recruit content moderators and establish a dedicated center in Austin has drawn mixed reactions from the public. While some commend Musk and X for taking proactive measures to combat harmful content, others remain skeptical of the company’s ability to effectively address the issue, especially given Musk’s own controversial history on social media platforms. Some critics argue that the success of X’s efforts will ultimately depend on the effectiveness and thoroughness of its moderation policies and the commitment of its newly recruited team.