Twitter owner Elon Musk said Thursday that starting next week, it would begin reinstating suspended accounts of users, who had been banned for offenses including violent threats, harassment, abuse and misinformation.
His decision comes in response to a Twitter poll, which asked, “Should Twitter offer blanket amnesty to suspended accounts, provided they haven’t broken the law or engaged in egregious spamming?” More than 72% of the 3 million people polled voted yes, prompting Musk to say, “The people have spoken. The amnesty begins next week. Voting ended around 12:45 p.m. ET today.
Last week, Musk used a Twitter poll to make another major decision, account restore of former President Donald Trump, which was banned following the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. 52% 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 has so far rejected the offer.
Shortly after Musk took over Twitter in a $44 billion leveraged buyout, he tried to allay fears about the social media company’s management by saying it was forming a moderation board of content.
“Twitter will form a content moderation board with widely diverse views,” the billionaire entrepreneur tweeted. “No major content or account reinstatement decisions will be made until this board meets.” So far, there is no evidence that a content moderation board was formed or impacted Musk’s decisions.
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, adding that “negative/hateful tweets will be maximally deboosted and demonetized, so no ads or other revenue for Twitter”.