Elon Musk Plays Twitter God, Plans To Reactivate Banned Accounts

Elon Musk intends to reinstate nearly all previously suspended Twitter accounts. In a poll where he asked if the platform should “offer a general amnesty to suspended accounts, provided that they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam,” around 72.4% voted yes.

“The people have spoken. Amnesty begins next week,” Musk tweeted. The poll was participated by around 3.2 million users.

The widespread reentry of users who had been banned for infractions such as violent threats, harassment, and disinformation is anticipated to have a big influence on the site. Many questioned how such a resurrection would be managed, given the ambiguity of Musk’s definition of “egregious spam” (a point of contention perennially raised by the billionaire during the acquisition) and the difficulty of identifying users who had “violated the law,” which varies greatly by area and country.

Many media outfits picked up the poll; however, Musk singled out The Associated Press as “expert in misinformation” as the platform highlighted the “amnesty” move would spur a rise in harassment, hate speech, and misinformation as predicted by online safety experts.

“But you have piqued my curiosity… who are these “online experts” you speak of?” Musk replied.

The same poll maneuver by Musk led to the reinstatement of former US President Donald Trump’s Twitter account last week. Due to the latter’s tweets that perpetuated perceived false information about election fraud during the 2020 presidential elections and its supposed connection to the January 6th Capitol Hill attack, Trump was permanently suspended by the platform.

But Musk seemingly reactivated Trump’s account after he posted a similar poll asking people if he should reinstate the suspended Twitter user. Results showed that 51.8% voted yes, with total votes amounting to 15.1 million.

Musk followed the announcement with a tweet claiming 134 million users “have seen this poll.”

On the same day, he unilaterally reinstated at least 11 high-profile far-right Twitter accounts, including Jordan Peterson, a professor who was suspended from Twitter for misgendering a trans person, and the Babylon Bee, a conservative media outlet. He also restored Project Veritas, a site that was frequently accused of misrepresenting events it commented on and was banned “for repeated violations of Twitter’s private information policy,” as well as Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s personal account, which had been banned since January for violating the platform’s COVID-19 misinformation policies and pushing violent and extreme rhetoric.

He seems to be unilaterally and singularly managing the suspensions despite tweeting in October, days just after Musk purchased Twitter, that there would be “a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints” on the platform. He added that “no major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes.”

Many advertisers have already paused their campaigns early into Musk’s takeover (something Musk blamed on “activists”). Those who stayed are being warned by media buyers that Twitter is a “high risk” media buy, while some have started telling their horror stories. 

Information for this briefing was found via The Washington Post and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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