Elon Musk will grant a “general amnesty” for banned Twitter accounts, allowing the most controversial users back online.
Musk said any accounts that have not “broken the law or engaged in gross spam” will be allowed back on the site.
He had initially proposed the amnesty in a tweet that allowed people to vote on whether to proceed. The “yes” option won, with 72 percent of the vote.
“The people have spoken. The amnesty starts next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk tweeted, using a Latin phrase that means “the voice of the people, the voice of God.”
Musk used the same Latin phrase after posting a similar poll last weekend before reinstating former President Donald Trump’s account, which Twitter had banned for encouraging the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot. Trump has said he will not be returning to Twitter , but did not delete his account.
Such online polls are anything but scientific and can easily be influenced by bots.
In the month since Musk took over Twitter, groups that monitor the platform for racist, anti-Semitic and other toxic speech say it’s on the rise in the world’s de facto public square. That included a spate of racist abuse against World Cup footballers that Twitter is reportedly unresponsive to.
The increase in harmful content is largely due to the disarray that followed Musk’s decision to lay off half of the company’s 7,500 workforce, fire top executives, and then issue a series of ultimatums that prompted hundreds of others to quit . Also, an untold number of contractors responsible for moderating the content were let loose. Among those who resigned because of a lack of confidence in Musk’s willingness to prevent Twitter from spiraling into a chaos of uncontrolled speech was Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of trust and security.
Large advertisers have also left the platform.
On Oct. 28, the day after taking charge, Musk tweeted that no suspended accounts would be reinstated until Twitter formed a “content moderation board” with differing views that would consider matters.
On Tuesday, he said he reneged on that promise because he agreed to it at the urging of “a grand coalition of political-social activist groups” who later “broke the deal” by urging advertisers to stop using Twitter at least temporarily. to give. company.
A day earlier, Twitter restored the personal account of far-right deputy Marjorie Taylor Greene, which was banned in January for violating the platform’s COVID disinformation policy.
Musk, meanwhile, is increasingly positive about right-wing figures on Twitter. Ahead of this month’s US midterm elections, he urged “independently-minded” people to vote Republican.
Additional reporting by the The Singapore Time