Elon Musk announces ‘amnesty’ for banned Twitter accounts
The announcement comes as Musk faces criticism that his criteria for content moderation is subject to his personal whim, with reinstatements decided for certain accounts and not others.
Should Twitter offer a general amnesty to suspended accounts, provided that they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 1669225589000
“The people have spoken. Amnesty begins next week,” Musk tweeted, responding to the poll.
“Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” he added, repeating a Latin adage meaning “The voice of the people is the voice of God,” that he has used when talking about other Twitter polls.
The people have spoken.Amnesty begins next week.Vox Populi, Vox Dei.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 1669319919000
Of 3.16 million respondents to Musk’s Wednesday poll question, 72.4 percent said Twitter should allow suspended accounts back on Twitter as long as they have not broken laws or engaged in “egregious spam,” Musk posted.
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Former US President Donald
Trump’s Twitter account was reinstated Saturday after a narrow majority of respondents supported the move.
Trump has, however, said that he had no interest in returning to Twitter. Trump was banned from the platform early last year for his role in the January 6 attack on the US Capitol by a mob of his supporters seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
A blanket amnesty for suspended accounts could potentially alarm government authorities that are keeping a close look at Musk’s handling of hateful speech since he bought the influential platform for $44 billion.
Musk, who closed his buyout of Twitter in late October, did not make clear whether the bans to be lifted by the poll were permanent suspensions or temporary ones.
The future of content moderation on Twitter has become an urgent concern, with major advertisers keeping away from the site after a failed relaunch earlier this month saw a proliferation of fake accounts, causing embarrassment.
Meanwhile, the teams in charge of keeping nefarious activity off the site have been gutted, victims of Musk-led layoffs that saw half of total employees leave the company.
(With agency inputs)
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