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Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James responded Saturday to a reported surge in hate speech on Twitter since Elon Musk’s acquisition of the platform Thursday.
James was responding to a report by Drew Harwell, Taylor Lorenz and Cat Zakrzewski of The Washington Post, which detailed findings from a research group known as the Network Contagion Research Institute. The NCRI said that use of the N-word on Twitter increased by nearly 500 percent in the 12 hours after Musk took over.
LeBron tweeted the following, calling for Musk and Twitter to take the information seriously:
Lebron James @King James
I don’t know Elon Musk and, TBH, I could care less who owns Twitter. But I will say that if this is true, I hope he and his people take it very seriously because it is scary AF. So many damn inappropriate people say hate speech is free speech. https://t.co/Sy0jvXIBnC
CNN’s Donnie O’Sullivan and Clare Duffy Thursday reported that Musk has finalized a 44 billion dollar deal to buy Twitter.
Musk, who is a 51-year-old native of South Africa and the CEO of both Tesla and SpaceX, has been outspoken about his support for free speech, which has left some Twitter users bracing for the return of notable band accounts, such as That of former US President Donald Trump, who was Removed from the platform in 2021 “due to the risk of further incitement of violence” after the January 6 Capitol Insurrection.
It also led to questions about whether accounts banned for racist rhetoric would be allowed back, or if accounts using racist language would be allowed to continue to do so.
In response to questions about the future of Twitter, Musk noted that a content moderation council will be created:
Musk also noted that no decisions about the potential reinstatement of accounts have been made, nor have they been No changes have been made to the Platform’s Content Moderation Policy.
Jacob is considered one of the greatest athletes of all time and has 52.3 million followers on Twitter, making him one of the most influential users of the platform.
Regardless of Musk’s plans on Twitter, he will undoubtedly become aware of LeBron’s concerns in the wake of his takeover.