Elon Musk’s new Twitter policy removing ‘hate tweets’ sparks confusion, comparisons to ‘shadowbanning’


Twitter owner Elon Musk caused confusion on Friday with his announcement of a new policy that would target so-called “hate tweets”.

“Twitter’s new policy is freedom of expression, not freedom of access,” Musk tweeted. “Negative/hateful tweets will be deboosted and demonetized to the max, so no ads or other revenue for Twitter. You won’t find the tweet unless you specifically search for it, which is no different from the rest of ‘Internet.”

He added, “Note, this only applies to the individual tweet, not the entire account.”

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Elon Musk has wasted no time making his mark on Twitter since taking over last month.

Musk’s politics have fueled many questions, particularly about what constitutes a “hate tweet.”

“But who decides what a ‘hate tweet’ is?” Libs from TikTok asked.

“Who decides what is a negative or hateful tweet? comedian Tim Young also wondered.

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“If I attack Iran’s supreme leader, is that considered a ‘negative/hateful’ tweet? How will the system make a difference?” journalist Yashar Ali pressed Musk.

“Is it still considered ‘negative/hateful’ to refer to a biological male as a male?” wrote conservative commentator Matt Walsh.

Many on the left are sounding the alarm over Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter.

Many on the left are sounding the alarm over Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter.
(FOX)

Others criticized the policy, likening it to “shadow banning,” a term used to describe hiding Twitter accounts from search results but not removing them from the platform.

“What Elon Musk is describing here is ‘shadow banning.’ head of Reason magazine.

“Okay, how is this different from the previous policy? People’s tweets get deleted because a biased Twitter rando thinks a tweet is mean or crazy?” wondered conservative podcast host Allie Beth Stuckey.

“Bold visionary Elon Musk invents the shadow ban,” joked Twitch personality Hasan Piker.

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“You paid this guy $8 to make shadow ban a real LMAO,” exclaimed The Hill reporter Zack Budryk.

“@elonmusk It’s your business, so you’re free to adopt whatever politics you choose. But freedom of speech includes speech that challenges and sometimes offends others. It’s how people grow. Harder-to-find ‘negative’ tweets harm this process, and there’s no way this policy can’t be applied evenly,” former Congressman Justin Amash told The Billionaire.

“Sounds like something the Chinese Communist Party would support,” tweeted Daily Wire editor Ryan Saavedra.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk smiles during a news conference after the first launch of a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., February 6, 2018 and a view of the logo Twitter at its headquarters in San Francisco, California, United States, October 28, 2022.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk smiles during a news conference after the first launch of a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., February 6, 2018 and a view of the logo Twitter at its headquarters in San Francisco, California, United States, October 28, 2022.
(REUTERS/Joe Skipper/Carlos Barria)

However, not everyone was negative about Musk’s anti-negative policy.

“A key principle of pre-internet speech regulation was to punish the speech, not the speaker. The system focused on specific harms and encouraged speakers who crossed the line to stay in the debate, but learn from their mistakes. Permanent bans discourage such growth. That’s good news,” Substack writer Matt Taibbi responded.

Musk had previously defended himself as a free speech absolutist, leaving critics to suggest his new policy contradicts his core principle.

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The new rollout of the policy was coupled with the announcement that the Twitter accounts of The Babylon Bee, Jordan Peterson and Kathy Griffin would be reinstated, adding that the decision to reinstate former President Trump “has not yet been made”. .

Bee’s initial Twitter ban, which was implemented after the conservative satirical outlet made a transgender joke mocking Biden administration official Rachel Levine, reportedly inspired Musk’s lawsuit to resume the company.


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