Twitter owner Elon Musk said Thursday that starting next week he will begin restoring 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 survey, which asked: “Should Twitter grant a blanket amnesty to suspended accounts, provided they haven’t broken the law or engaged in gross spam?” More than 72 percent of the 3 million respondents voted yes, prompting Musk to declare, “The people have spoken. The amnesty starts next week.” The poll closed today around 12:45pm ET.
Last week, Musk used a Twitter poll to make another major decision, reinstating 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 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 declined the offer.
Shortly after Musk acquired Twitter in a $44 billion leveraged buyout, he tried to allay fears about the social media company’s direction by saying it is forming a content moderation board.
“Twitter will form a content moderation board with widely differing views,” the billionaire entrepreneur tweeted. “There will be no major substantive decisions or account recovery before that council meets.” So far, there is no evidence that a content moderation board was formed or had any influence over Musk’s decisions.
Musk has previously said he disagreed with Twitter’s policy of permanent bans.
“The new Twitter policy is freedom of speech, not freedom of speech,” Musk said in a tweet last week, adding, “Negative/hate tweets will be deboosted and demonetized to the max, so no ads or other revenue for Twitter.”