2024 is here: it’s time to make social media safer

Posted on January 02, 2024 in Impact stories, News.

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2024 will be a big year for us. 

This new year, CCDH has ambitious plans, including:

  • Producing brand new groundbreaking research on public health, kids, climate denial, reproductive rights, and of course countering hate speech and disinformation amid elections everywhere. 
  • Keep fighting back against Elon Musk’s X Corp ridiculous lawsuit against us. 
  • Continue to campaign for governments and legislators to use our STAR Framework to regulate social media giants. 

CCDH’s impact is tangible. Together with our supporters, we delivered real change last year.

Here’s our recap:

The battle against Twitter’s toxicity

We exposed the rise of hate and misinformation on Twitter, now X, under Elon Musk’s reckless leadership. In February, we showed how the platform profited from ten toxic reinstated accounts after Musk’s “general amnesty.” A month later, we showed that the hateful anti-LGBTQ+ grooming narrative had jumped 119% since Musk’s takeover.

In June, we found Twitter kept hosting 99% of hate posted by Twitter Blue subscribers. These posts contained racist, homophobic, neo-Nazi, antisemitic, or conspiracy content. We tested X’s content moderation twice again, in September and November, with disastrous results.

The outcome? Elon Musk sued us. It can be scary when the world’s richest man decides to attack a nonprofit like us. But it’s also proof that our work is touching a nerve. We received a lot of support and raised more than $100k in single donations to help us kick off our legal defense.

Regulation of social media companies becomes a reality

We worked tirelessly this year to demonstrate to governments and legislators the need for our STAR Framework for social media regulation: Safety-by-Design, Transparency, Accountability, and Responsibility.

We had two major wins: CCDH’s campaign helped pass the Online Safety Act in the UK, and the Digital Services Act in the European Union, where social media companies are already being held accountable.

We stood up for our kids

Protecting kids and teens online is a vital part of our work. In partnership with the Entertainment Industry Foundation, we launched a public service announcement in the US, voiced by Laura Linney, to increase awareness of social media platforms’ willing role in harming our children’s mental health and wellbeing. You can watch it at protectingkidsonline.org.

Following our report showing that minors are being routinely harassed and exposed to adult content on Meta’s VR Horizon Worlds, the US Federal Trade Commission proposed a block on Meta monetizing user data from minors and pause its launch of new products and services.

Companies deflect blame and delay action, but we keep pushing

More than a year after our Hidden Hate research showed that Instagram failed to act on 9 in 10 reported vile abuse against women in direct messages, Meta finally took action.

The company launched a new feature to block explicit images in Instagram DM requests. But it’s far from enough, Meta must tackle misogynistic abuse on all of its platforms.

We combatted disinformation amid the Israel-Gaza conflict

Online hate and disinformation spread like wildfire with the outbreak of the Israel-Gaza conflict in October. We exposed the amplification of antisemitism, Islamophobia, and anti-Palestinian hate on platforms such as X, TikTok, and 4chan.

The spread of extreme content amid conflicts is not just a problem online – it can fuel even more offline rage and violence. We created explainers to help people understand how online misinformation and disinformation work, how to report them to the platforms, and how to build information resilience.

Why is CCDH’s work so important?

Our mission is to protect human rights and civil liberties online.

The magnitude of online hate and disinformation threatens not just our democracies but the very fabric of our societies. The safety of our kids, families, and communities is at risk.

We need your help to reshape our digital spaces and ensure everyone, including young people, feels safe online.

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