Twitter Creates New Platform ‘Health’ Team as Bot Saga Continues: Report

Twitter has merged its toxic content cleanup and anti-spam bot teams to create a new group dubbed “Health Products and Services” — reports Reuters.

The move follows allegations from former security chief turned whistleblower Peiter Zatko that the company has misled regulators about its defences against both misinformation and bot accounts. Zatko also claimed that Twitter executives don’t have the means or the motivation to determine the number of bot accounts on the social network.

In addition, two Twitter employees told Reuters that the teams responsible for reducing harmful or toxic content on the platform have seen significant staff departures recently.

Twitter’s HPS team will be led by Ella Irwin, who joined the company in June as the Vice President of Product for Health and Twitter Service.

“We need teams to focus on specific problems, working together as one team and no longer operating in silos,” Irwin wrote in an internal email. She added that the newly formed HPS team will “ruthlessly prioritize” its projects.

On another front, Twitter has been embroiled in a legal battle with Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk ever since the celebrity billionaire pulled his $44 billion bid to acquire the company.

Twitter’s bot account estimates and the effect of such accounts on its business are at the centre of the merger drama. Musk and Twitter are set to meet in court on October 17.

Twitter said on Tuesday that Zatko’s accusations were simply meant to seek attention and inflict harm on the company during already difficult times. The company has also said that it stands behind its disclosures on spam and bot accounts.

The reshuffling of the toxic content and spam bot teams “reflects our continued commitment to prioritize, and focus our teams in pursuit of our goals,” a Twitter spokesperson said.

However, at least one current employee told Reuters that the restructuring did not appear to have a notable impact on their work as of yet.