March 6, 2023 | BBC

‘Permissive environment’ at Twitter correlates with rise of newly created accounts supporting misogynistic content

A new investigation by BBC disinformation and social media correspondent Marianna Spring features research from ISD and CASM Technology analysing the impacts of Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter on abuse and harassment on the platform. Data collected from 7M followers of 132 accounts known to spread abusive and misogynistic content showed a 69% increase in the number of newly created accounts following these channels since Musk took control over the social media platform.

While analysing overall levels of online misogyny and abuse is systematically challenging, our findings suggest Musk’s takeover of Twitter created the perception of a permissive environment for the creation of thousands of new accounts that immediately went on to follow harmful channels.

Our full analysis is available here, and you can find out more about the investigation on the BBC News website, as well as on BBC Panorama through iPlayer available in the UK.