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Elon Musk announces he is granting ‘amnesty’ to suspended Twitter accounts

Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk said on Thursday he was granting ‘amnesty’ to suspended accounts, which online safety experts say will lead to increased harassment, hate speech and misinformation .

The billionaire’s announcement came after he asked in a poll posted on his timeline to vote on reinstatements for accounts that have not “broken the law or engaged in egregious spamming”. The yes was 72%.

“The people have spoken. Amnesty starts next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk tweeted, using a Latin phrase meaning “voice of the people, voice of God.”

Musk used the same Latin phrase after posting a similar poll last weekend before account recovery of former President Donald Trump, whom Twitter banned for encouraging the Capitol insurrection on January 6, 2021. Trump said he would not return to Twitter but did not delete his account.

Such online surveys are anything but scientific and can easily be influenced by bots.

A number of civil rights groups, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Anti-Defamation League, are urging advertisers boycott Twitter in response to Musk’s decision to restore Trump’s viewing rights. The organizations argue that Musk backtracked on his previous pledge to create a “content moderation council” before reinstating the controversial accounts.

Advertisers such as Oreo maker Mondelez, Allianz, Audi, General Mills, GM, United Airlines and Pfizer suspended their ads on Twitter, leading to what Musk earlier this month called a “massive drop” in income.

Elon Musk’s Twitter moves shed new light on his leadership of Tesla


After his $44 billion takeover from Twitter, the Tesla founder said in late October that he would form the board with “very diverse views”, saying that no one whose account was banned would be allowed back on the platform until this group has the chance to meet. But Trump’s account was restored without any input from such counsel.

Under Musk, Twitter reinstated other previously banned accountsincluding those belonging to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, comedian Kathy Griffin, psychologist Jordan Peterson, and Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West.


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