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Center for Strategic Communication, School of Communication and Media, Montclair State University


On November 24, 2022 Elon Musk stated that “general amnesty” would be given to Twitter accounts previously suspended for violent threats, harassment and misinformation. This appears to reflect Musk’s previously stated intent to run the platform as a “free speech absolutist.” The question in many people’s minds is what such an incarnation of Twitter will look like. The tragic shooting at an LGBTQIA+ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Nov. 19-20 and the reaction the event generated on the platform provide a case that demonstrates the tensions that will come with reduced platform moderation. “Groomer,” a previously Twitter restricted slur against the LGBTQIA+ community, was widely utilized in tweets in the period after the attack showing both the virality of hate speech and the community’s response. This study evaluates the extent of visibility of the term “groomer” on Twitter and provides context for platform divisions when content controls are eased.


The Joetta Di Bella and Fred C. Sautter III Center for Strategic Communication is a state-of-the-art communications hub at Montclair State’s School of Communication and Media. It is home to social listening platforms, content creation apps and consumer insights tools, and is used for instructional, research and co-curricular activity. Through research, reports, community events and special projects, the Center enhances the School’s profile as an authority on social media analytics while preparing our students for our data driven world. The tools also allow faculty and students to work on research projects that focus on economics, health, politics, social justice, sports and other key societal issues, which will create earned media opportunities for the School and assist faculty with publishing and other efforts. The tools are also available for research on the students’ #Focus project each semester.