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No less than 1,213 moderation staff specialists have left X since its acquisition by Elon Musk in October 2022, according to new figures published Thursday by the Australian Internet regulator.

Agence France-Presse

Elon Musk's Company Australian Internet regulator.

The eSafety regulator estimated that these deep cuts and the reinstatement of thousands of banned accounts had created the worst situation for the dissemination of harmful content.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">In recent months, the regulator has focused particularly on X, previously saying its takeover by Mr Musk coincided with a spike in toxicity and hatred on the social network formerly known as Twitter.

Relying on Australia's Online Safety Act, the eSafety Commission obtained a detailed list of software engineers, content moderators and other security personnel working at X.

The Australian regulator's commissioner, Julie Inman Grant, herself a former Twitter employee, said this was the first time these figures had been made public.

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These figures showed that 1,213 moderation staff specialists, including contractors, had left X since its acquisition by Elon Musk in October 2022, including 80% software engineers.

Removing 80% of these specialized engineers is as if Volvo, renowned for its safety standards, separated itself from all its designers or engineers, Ms. Grant told AFP.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">This is, according to her, the worst situation. You are significantly lowering your defenses and introducing repeat offenders onto the platform again.

Australia has spearheaded the global effort to regulate social media, forcing tech companies to explain how they tackle issues such as hate speech and sexual abuse on minors.

In October, the eSafety Commission fined X A$610,500, or US$410,000, saying the platform #x27;had not clearly shown that it was fighting against the proliferation of content of sexual assault on minors.

X ignored the deadline to pay the fine, before launching legal action to have it canceled.

The company did not respond to AFP's request for comment, instead sending an automated response saying busy at the moment, please come back later.

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