Elon Musk claims he will start restoring banned Twitter accounts – Elon Musk announced Thursday that he will start restoring all previously banned accounts on Twitter beginning next week. This is his largest-reaching move to reverse the policy of suspending users for violating its rules repeatedly.
Musk tweeted Thursday, “The people have spoken.” “Amnesty starts next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei.”
Musk had surveyed his followers on Wednesday about whether to offer general amnesty for suspended accounts, provided they have not violated the law or used egregious spamming.
The poll closed on Thursday at 12:45 ET. 72.4% voted in favor and 27.6% against the proposition. More than 3,000,000 votes were cast on Twitter.
It is unclear how Musk and his Twitter team will determine which accounts were banned for spam or illegal content, and how many accounts will be restored.
Musk declared last week that he would reinstate Donald Trump’s account after another poll posted by him on the platform showed a slight favor for returning the former President to the platform. He had been banned from the platform following the attack on Capitol on January 6, 2021. Musk also restored accounts of several other controversial users previously suspended or banned, including Jordan Peterson (Canada), a right-leaning podcaster, comedian Kathy Griffin, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.
Musk stated that he would establish a content moderation council with “widely varied viewpoints” shortly after acquiring Twitter. No major content decisions will be made until this council is in place. It is not clear that any such group was formed or involved in Musk’s replatforming decisions. Instead, Musk tweeted “Vox Populi Vox Dei” (Latin for “the voice of the people is the voice God”) after restoring Trump’s account.
Twitter used to impose “strikes” on users who repeatedly violated its rules against Covid-19 and civic integrity misinformation. Users were given up to nine chances to be removed from the platform before being banned. Other enforcement mechanisms were also available, such as labeling tweets or reducing their reach. These were used to enforce additional rules, including those against terrorism, threats to violence against individuals or groups, targeting abuse or harassment, publishing private information about another person, and content that promotes abuse or self-harm.
Musk previously stated that he was against Twitter’s policy regarding permanent bans.
Musk tweeted last week that the new Twitter policy was freedom of speech and not freedom of reach. This is a standard industry approach. “Negative/hate Tweets will be max-deboosted & demonetized so that no ads or other revenue is to Twitter.
The decision to reinstate many previously banned accounts could alienate Twitter’s advertisers. Many of them have fled Twitter in the wake of the chaos that Musk has created and fear their ads might be run alongside offensive content. Musk stated that the company has seen a drop in revenue due to the departures of key Twitter advertisers over the past weeks.