Tip from Elon Musk’s X helps indict man accused of sharing illicit content

Credit: Elon Musk/X

Elon Musk’s social media platform X still attracts criticism by the buckets, but the company does seem to be doing something right on some serious and pertinent issues. As per a county prosecutor in Ohio, for one, the indictment of a man on 54 charges related to the possession and distribution of child abuse materials would likely not have been possible without a tip from X. 

As per County Prosecutor Zac Corbin, the suspect in the case, 44-year-old Daniel Wright, had acquired and shared illicit videos from social media sites like X and Telegram. X staff flagged and monitored the offending material, and the company notified the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) about the matter. 

Corbin noted that in Wright’s case, the tip from X was filtered through the NCMEC to Ohio authorities. Law enforcement was able to track the perpetrator’s IP address to Brown County, which allowed the Boone County Sheriff’s Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children division to start an investigation, as noted in a WCPO 9 report. 

NCMEC Exploited Children Division Director Jennifer Newman noted that while US tech companies are required to report illegal content on their platforms, they are not required to search for illicit material that’s being posted or shared on their sites. This seems to be the extra step that Elon Musk’s X took proactively in this case, and it made a lot of difference. 

“A lot of companies that we probably all have in our hand or our purse, on our person, who have this opportunity to detect and report, and they’re not doing that. So, when you ask is there under reporting? Absolutely, because nothing in the law requires them to scan or look for this,” Newman said. 

X CEO Linda Yaccarino highlighted the social media company’s efforts to protect children in a post. “We must all do everything we can to protect children,” she wrote. 

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Tip from Elon Musk’s X helps indict man accused of sharing illicit content
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