Twitter owner Elon Musk said Thursday that beginning next week he will begin reinstating suspended accounts of users, who had been banned for offenses such as violent threats, harassment, abuse and misinformation.
His move comes in response to a Twitter poll, which asked, “Should Twitter offer a general amnesty to suspended accounts, provided that they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam?” More than 72 percent of 3 million respondents voted yes, prompting Musk to declare: “The people have spoken. Amnesty begins next week.” The poll closed around 12:45 p.m. ET today.
Just last week, Musk used a Twitter poll to make another major decision, restoring the account of former President Donald Trump, who had been banned following the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. 52 percent of respondents said he should restore Trump’s account, after which he tweeted “Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Latin for “the voice of the people is the voice of God.” Trump thus far has spurned the offer.
Shortly after Musk took over Twitter in a $44 billion leveraged buyout, he tried to allay fears about the direction of the social media company by saying it is forming a content moderation council.
“Twitter will be forming a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints,” the billionaire entrepreneur tweeted. “No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes.” So far, there is no evidence that a content moderation council has been formed or had any impact on Musk’s decisions.
Musk previously has said that he disagreed with Twitter’s policy of permanent bans.
“New Twitter policy is freedom of speech, not freedom of reach,” Musk said in a tweet last week, adding “Negative/hate tweets will be max deboosted & demonetized, so no ads or other revenue to Twitter.”