Twitter Changes Brand Safety Approach, Appoints New Brand Safety Lead

Twitter Changes Brand Safety Approach, Appoints New Brand Safety Lead

AJ Brown has been appointed as Twitter’s new head of brand safety and has posted a new blog explaining its changed approach to keeping companies safe.

Brown was formerly Twitter’s global manager, monetisation integrity and moved into his new role in November.

In a blog post shared by Brown on Twitter, the company explained its changed approach to brand safety.

The company said that it was “embarking on a new chapter, but our steadfast commitment to this mission has not changed.”

The post continued:

“We’ve always understood that our business and revenue are interconnected with our mission; they rely on each other. Brand safety is only possible when human safety is the top priority. All of this remains true today.”

What has changed, however, is the company’s approach to experimentation.

“Twitter is embracing public testing,” the post said.

“We believe that this open and transparent approach to innovation is healthy, as it enables us to move faster and gather user feedback in real-time. We believe that a service of this importance will benefit from feedback at scale, and that there is value in being open about our experiments and what we are learning. We do all of this work with one goal in mind: to improve Twitter for our customers, partners, and the people who use it across the world.”

The company also said that, “as we embark on this new journey, we will make mistakes.”

This approach might work for internal computer code at organisations but, with a platform as large and as influential as Twitter, those public mistakes might have significant consequences for brands and individuals.

The company also stressed that “none of our policies have changed. Our approach to policy enforcement will rely more heavily on de-amplification of violative content: freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach.”

Again, this might be fine in principle but, with Elon Musk regularly courting far-right commentators on the platform, it seems as though some controversial figures are getting amplified reach.

In fact, Yoel Roth, Twitter’s former head of trust and safety, said on Tuesday that the social media company was not safe under Musk’s ownership in his first interview since departing.

Speaking at the Knight Foundation conference, Roth was asked whether he believed the company had improved its safety under Musk’s ownership, as he had previously tweeted.

He replied, “No.”

Prior to Musk’s takeover, some 2,200 people were focused on content moderation work, according to Roth. However, he explained that Musk, in the wake of the company’s mass layoffs, started taking decisions unilaterally.

“One of my limits was if Twitter starts being ruled by dictatorial edict rather than by policy… there’s no longer a need for me in my role, doing what I do,” he said.

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