NBA star LeBron James recently complained that the acquisition of Twitter by free speech advocate Elon Musk has led to an increase in the use of racial slurs.
According to Fox Business, that complaint did not go unnoticed by Musk, who was quick to respond.
Racial slurs blamed on bot accounts
Specifically, Musk retweeted a statement from Yoel Roth, who serves as the platform’s head of safety and integrity. In it, Roth attributed the problem to fake accounts.
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. https://t.co/1hUnb1WYPZ
— Yoel Roth (@yoyoel) October 30, 2022
“More than 50,000 Tweets repeatedly using a particular slur came from just 300 accounts,” Roth explained, adding, “Nearly all of these accounts are inauthentic,” he continued.
“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.”
James accused of using Twitter to threaten a police officer
James is himself no stranger to controversy on Twitter, as Fox News noted last year that the basketball star received backlash for comments he made following a police shooting in Columbus, Ohio.
In that incident, bodycam footage showed a police officer fatally shooting 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant just as she attempted to stab another girl. The officer was later cleared of wrongdoing.
In a since deleted tweet, James posted a picture of the officer involved along with a caption that read, “YOU’RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY.”
That led to criticism, including from Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton, who accused James of inciting violence against law enforcement.
Lebron James is inciting violence against an Ohio police officer.
This is disgraceful and dangerous.
Is the NBA okay with this? Is Twitter?
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) April 21, 2021
Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz spoke up as well, telling Fox News that James’ words “could certainly be interpreted by some, even, as a call for violence, adding, “I think it was a grossly irresponsible message for LeBron James to send out.”