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Concerns Over X’s Manual DM Review Policy, Elon Musk Reacts ?

A policy update allowing the microblogging site X to manually review the direct messages (DMs) of some users has sparked major privacy concerns.

An X user, @kimdotcom, on Sunday flagged the new update that goes against the X policy of providing end-to-end encryption to every content on the platform.

A screenshot of the policy update shared online showed the Elon Musk-owned platform now reviews DMs to investigate reported violations and misuse of its services, “or to comply with laws or governmental requests”.

Replying to the user, Elon Musk confirmed the update but did not provide any additional detail.

“It currently works in a clunky way for one to one messages (if you turn it on). We’re working on making it easy to use and apply to group messages too. X audio and video calls are automatically encrypted,” he said.

Several other users raised an alarm over the manual review of DMs and said Elon Musk did not understand the concern. “The ‘comply with government requests’ clause is unacceptable. Please say you still believe in free speech,” a user said.

“Is it me or did Elon not understand the question of Kim? Kim was worried about reviewing the DMs by government request,” another said on X. An user commented: “You didn’t address the root of the concern. Why is X collaborating with governments to sift through our private DMs?”

According to the X website, encrypted DMs are an important aspect of the platform’s aim to become the most trusted platform on the internet. “As Elon Musk said, when it comes to Direct Messages, the standard should be, if someone puts a gun to our heads, we still can’t access your messages,” the X help centre states.

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