Elon Musk said Thursday he would begin restoring most previously banned Twitter accounts starting next week, in his most significant move yet to reverse the social media platform’s policy of suspending definitely users who have repeatedly violated its rules.
“The people have spoken”, Musk tweeted Thursday. “The amnesty begins next week. Vox Populi vox dei.
The announcement comes after Musk on Wednesday interrogates its followers on whether to offer “blanket amnesty to suspended accounts, provided they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spamming.”
The poll, which closed around 12:45 p.m. ET on Thursday, ended with 72.4% voting in favor of the proposal and 27.6% voting against. The poll garnered over 3 million votes on Twitter.
It’s not immediately clear how Musk and his team at Twitter will sort out which accounts were banned for illegal content or spam versus other violations, or how many accounts in total will be restored.
Musk announced last week that he would reinstate Donald Trump’s account after another poll he posted on the platform ended slightly in favor of bringing back the former president, who had been banned at the time. following the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, on the platform. . Musk also restored the accounts of several other controversial, previously banned or suspended users, including conservative Canadian podcaster Jordan Peterson, right-wing satire website Babylon Bee, comedian Kathy Griffin and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.
Shortly after acquiring Twitter, Musk said he would create a “content moderation board” with “very diverse viewpoints,” and that no major content decisions would be made until he would not be in place. There is no evidence that such a group was formed or was involved in Musk’s reunion decisions. Instead, after restoring Trump’s account, Musk tweeted “Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Latin for “the voice of the people is the voice of God.”
Prior to Musk’s takeover, Twitter typically imposed “strikes” which amounted to suspensions for progressively longer periods when users repeatedly broke its rules against Covid-19 or civic integrity misinformation, giving users up to nine chances before they are booted from the platform. The platform also had other enforcement mechanisms – such as tagging a tweet or narrowing its reach – for its additional rules, including those prohibiting terrorism, threats of violence against individuals or groups of people, targeted abuse or harassment, posting another person’s private information and content. promoting violence or self-harm.
Musk has previously said he doesn’t agree with Twitter’s permanent ban policy.
“Twitter’s new policy is freedom of speech, not freedom of access,” Musk said in a tweet last week, echoing an approach that is somewhat of an industry standard. “Negative/hateful tweets will be deboosted and demonetized to the max, so no ads or other revenue for Twitter.”
The move to restore countless previously banned accounts could further alienate Twitter’s advertisers, many of whom have fled the platform following the chaos since Musk took over and fearing their ads might end up showing up on Twitter. alongside objectionable content. Musk said the departure of key advertisers from Twitter in recent weeks has resulted in a “massive drop in revenue” for the company.