‘False’: Elon Musk fact-checks claim Twitter removed suicide prevention feature

Critics desperate to discredit and smear Twitter owner Elon Musk took to the platform in force Friday when it appeared a safety feature geared toward helping with suicide prevention may have been deactivated, leading to a blunt response from the billionaire.

Reuters appeared all too ready to pull the trigger after two anonymous sources “familiar with the matter” told the outlet that a feature known as “#ThereIsHelp” had been unceremoniously shut off. Meant to guide users toward support resources related to topics like suicide prevention, child sexual exploitation and even freedom of expression, links would accompany specific searches input by users.

On Friday, Reuters noted, “Twitter Inc removed a feature in the past few days that promoted suicide prevention hotlines and other safety resources to users looking up certain content, according to two people familiar with the matter who said it was ordered by new owner Elon Musk.”

After getting blasted throughout the day over the claim, Musk reacted to the post Saturday morning with a simple statement that read, “False, it is still there.”

Even Reuters admitted in an update on the story that Ella Irwin, Twitter’s head of trust and safety, had emailed the outlet after they published the piece to explain that “we have been fixing and revamping our prompts. They were just temporarily removed while we do that.”

“We know these prompts are useful in many cases and just want to make sure they are functioning properly and continue to be relevant,” she added after explaining the new approach was designed to mirror how Google handled these safety concerns.

Included among the detractors with a bone to pick against Musk was Eirliani Abdul Rahman who had been a member of Twitter’s dissolved content advisory group. Calling even a temporary removal of the links “extremely disconcerting and profoundly disturbing,” she went on to criticize the handling operational and argued, “normally you would be working on it in parallel, not removing it.”

While it remained unclear how long, if at all, the prompts were turned off on the social media platform, users with their own beef against the Chief Twit sounded off as though they were playing telephone, with one podcaster saying, “What kind of Grade A jerk do you have to be to cut suicide prevention and education measures for the hell of it? We now have an answer to this question.”

“As if Twitter couldn’t get any worse, Musk has now gotten rid of the feature that promotes suicide prevention hotlines and other safety resources to users.” another wrote with a quote tweet of Musk saying “Twitter votes for the right haha” taken out of context. “The man is pure EVIL.”

https://twitter.com/CavRTK/status/1606416222903566336

 

https://twitter.com/NorskLadyWolf/status/1606418589988397057

While many more criticized Musk’s self-proclaimed commitment that “Removing child exploitation is priority #1” as it pertained to the safety feature, it is worth noting that the CEO had called out the former head of trust and safety, Yoel Roth, over his Ph.D. thesis in favor of children having access to adult internet services along with other deviant views that led the billionaire to comment, “This explains a lot.”

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