The Network Contagion Research Institute, which analyzes hundreds of millions of messages across social media platforms, discovered that use of the racist slur on Twitter spiked nearly 500% over the 12 hours after Musk closed the deal to purchase the company for $44 billion, The Washington Post reported.
“I hope [Musk] and his people take this very seriously because this is scary AF. So many damn unfit people saying hate speech is free speech,” James tweeted.
Musk has railed in the past at Twitter’s content restrictions on misinformation and hate speech, characterizing it as biased and unjustified censorship. But unfettered content could be bad for his new business and even in some cases vulnerable to lawsuits.
Musk tried to reassure advertisers in a message last week that Twitter will not become a “free-for-all hellscape.” But users are apparently already challenging that promise.
Musk on Friday tweeted that he wouldn’t make any “major content decisions or account reinstatements” until a new “content moderation council” is convened.
He replied to LeBron’s tweet on Sunday by reposting a tweet from the company’s head of safety and integrity. It said: “Nearly all of these accounts are inauthentic. We’ve taken action to ban the users involved in this trolling campaign — and are going to continue working to address this in the days to come to make Twitter safe and welcoming for everyone.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.