Twitter’s Head of Trust and Safety resigns as platform struggles to combat harmful content

    Ella Irwin, the head of Twitter's trust and safety team

    2nd June 2023 – (New York) Ella Irwin, the head of Twitter’s trust and safety team, announced her resignation from the social media company on Thursday. Irwin’s departure comes amid growing criticism of Twitter’s efforts to combat harmful content and misinformation on the platform since billionaire Elon Musk acquired it in October of last year. Irwin, who joined Twitter in June 2022, took over as head of the trust and safety team in November.

    Under Irwin’s leadership, Twitter’s trust and safety team was responsible for content moderation and ensuring that the platform was safe and secure for users. However, Twitter has faced criticism for lax protections against harmful content and misinformation since Musk’s acquisition. The platform has struggled to retain advertisers, with brands wary of appearing next to unsuitable content.

    Fortune reported that Irwin’s internal Slack account appeared to have been deactivated, but she declined to comment on her departure. Musk did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Since Musk’s acquisition, Twitter has cut costs dramatically and laid off thousands of employees, including many who had worked on efforts to prevent harmful and illegal content, protect election integrity, and surface accurate information on the site. Musk has promoted a feature called Community Notes, which lets users add context to tweets, as a way to combat misleading information on Twitter.

    However, Twitter is also facing increasing scrutiny from regulators over its moderation efforts. The platform withdrew from a voluntary agreement with the European Union to tackle disinformation, while saying it was committed to complying with upcoming internet rules in the EU. EU industry chief Thierry Breton warned Twitter last week that it would not be able to avoid legal obligations in the EU after quitting the voluntary agreement.