Elon Musk mocks BBC Panorama report on Twitter

Elon Musk has sarcastically mocked a BBC Panorama programme that claimed Twitter is struggling to protect users from abuse.

The report alleged that since he took over the platform thousands of new accounts have been created that subsequently followed "abusive" and "misogynistic" profiles.

The figures were 69 percent higher than before he was in charge, suggesting a “permissive environment,” the report claimed.

In response, Mr Musk tweeted: “Sorry for turning Twitter from nurturing paradise into place that has … trolls."

Responding to a user who tweeted that the platform "was a beautiful utopia. Now I fear for my life daily," he wrote: “Literally roflmao” – short for rolling on the floor laughing my arse off".

The BBC spoke to Lisa Jennings Young (below), a former head of content design at Twitter, who said that before the takeover the platform was trying to crack down on widespread trolling.

Lisa Jennings Young, former head of content design in grey knitted cardigan

Lisa Jennings Young, former head of content design. Credit: BBC

“It was not at all perfect. But we were trying, and we were making things better all the time,” she said.

Ray Serrato, a former Twitter worker who tackled state-sponsored disinformation, said the team he worked for had been “decimated” since the takeover and was now operating with minimal capacity.

He said: “Twitter might have been the refuge where journalists would have their voices heard and be critical of the government. But I’m not sure that’s going to be the case anymore.

“There are a number of experts no longer in that team that would have covered special regions, or threat actors from Russia to China.”

Another source claimed there had been a drain of expertise from Twitter and that a 20-strong team who used to work on tackling child abuse had been cut to just six or seven.