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Elon Musk’s X has a new safety leader, nine months after predecessor left the social media platform

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NEW YORK (AP) — Elon Musk’s X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, has named a new head of safety nine months after the last executive to hold the position departed from the social media company.

X said that company veteran Kylie McRoberts will oversee the global safety team. The platform also announced that Yale Cohen, who previously worked for media firm Publicis Media, would become head of brand safety and advertiser solutions.

The last executive heading what was formerly called the trust and safety team, Ella Irwin, left the company in June 2023. While Irwin did not point to specific reasoning at the time, her resignation arrived just days after Musk publicly complained about the platform’s handling of posts about transgender topics.

Since Musk’s $44 billion purchase of the platform in October 2022, X has seen several leadership shakeups.

The appointments, first announced Tuesday, arrive amid ongoing concerns about content moderation on X as well as the spread of misinformation and hate speech on the platform, which some researchers say has been on the rise under Musk.

The issue has driven away some big-name advertisers. In November, brands including IBM, NBCUniversal and its parent company Comcast, said that they stopped advertising on X after a report from the liberal advocacy group Media Matters said their ads were appearing alongside material praising Nazis. It was yet another setback as X tries to win back big brands and their ad dollars, X’s main source of revenue.

Later that month, Musk went on an expletive-ridden rant in response to companies that had halted spending on X in response to antisemitic and other hateful material, accusing them of “blackmail” and, using a profanity, essentially told them to go away.

Beyond advertiser battles, X has also attempted to some sue those who have documented the proliferation of hate speech on the platform — including Media Matters and the non-profit Center for Countering Digital Hate. A federal judge dismissed the suit against the center last week, ruling that X cannot seek damages for the independent acts of third parties based on the nonprofit’s reports, or its “speech.”

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