Elon Musk Disbands "Election Integrity" Team at X Amidst Controversy

Elon Musk is set to terminate half of the members of X’s "Election Integrity" team, including its head.

by Faruk Imamovic
Elon Musk Disbands "Election Integrity" Team at X Amidst Controversy
© Getty Images News/Nathan Howard

Elon Musk is set to terminate half of the members of X’s "Election Integrity" team, including its head. This dramatic move comes in the wake of allegations that the very team charged with maintaining the purity of elections was, in fact, subverting it.

When confronted with the allegations, Musk retorted, “Oh you mean the “Election Integrity” Team that was undermining election integrity? Yeah, they’re gone."

A Response to EU's Accusations

The firing closely follows the European Union's assertion that X contained the highest proportion of disinformation among major social media platforms.

Not one to keep silent, Musk responded with an intriguing image: three penguins, emblematic of Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, paying homage to another penguin that bore the X logo. Interestingly, just last month, Aaron Rodericks, the co-lead of the election disinformation team, actively advertised eight new roles on LinkedIn.

Through the advertisement, Rodericks conveyed the importance of X's role in the election integrity dialogue, saying they were in search of individuals driven by a “passion for protecting the integrity of elections and civic events”.

The Political Repercussions

The implications of these developments haven't been lost on politicians. Some view Musk's actions with apprehension, pondering whether this might hinder their ability to shape elections – an allegation stemming from instances cited in the Twitter Files.

It should be noted that Elon Musk has been outspoken about Twitter's past, claiming the platform "has interfered in elections" before he took the helm. In what seems to be a move to placate concerns, X has made it known that they intend to recruit additional personnel to oversee and eliminate election misinformation in the run-up to key global elections next year.

While other tech giants like Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Google, and Microsoft have already begun measures to comply with new EU laws introduced in August, X remains tight-lipped. These laws necessitate the swift removal of fake profiles, false information, and hate speech.

Although Twitter opted out of the EU's code of practice, Musk has previously assured his commitment to abide by these guidelines.

The Advertising Fallout

With the altered approach to content regulation under Musk's stewardship, there's been a significant backlash in the advertising community.

Many brands have chosen to boycott the platform, a concerning trend given advertising comprises a substantial chunk of the company's revenue.

Elon Musk