To the question, posted on Wednesday in the form of a poll on its account, whether Twitter should offer a “blanket amnesty to suspended accounts provided they have not broken the law or sent outrageous spam”, 72, 4% of the approximately 3.16 million people said “yes”.
“The people have spoken, the amnesty begins next week”, tweeted Elon Musk, this Thursday, holiday in the United States for the feast of Thanksgiving, accompanying his publication of the message “Vox Populi, Vox Dei” (“La voice of the people is the voice of God”).
It is with this same expression that he had, on Saturday, rehabilitated the account of the former American president, Donald Trump, banned from the social network after the assault on the Capitol in Washington, in January 2021.
The leader of Tesla and SpaceX had made this decision following a similar consultation on the blue bird network, a method of uncertain representativeness. A narrow majority (51.8%) of the 15 million voters had expressed themselves in favor of a return of the Republican billionaire, who has not tweeted since the restoration of his account.
Elon Musk has repeatedly explained that he bought Twitter because he considers the platform to be the “digital public square” essential to democracy in the world.
The richest man in the world considers the moderation of content too restrictive, but his absolutist vision of freedom of expression raises fears of a surge of abuse (misinformation, hate speech) on the social network.
Many brands have already suspended their advertising expenditure on Twitter, which depends on it for 90% of its income.
The libertarian entrepreneur first tried to appease them by recalling, at the end of October, that the rules had not (yet) changed and by promising not to take any decision on the reinstatement of accounts before the creation of a “council content moderation.
But the advertisers, who had promised to maintain their spending on the condition that this council of moderation be created, “broke the agreement”, he wrote, on Tuesday, as a justification for the return of the accounts ousted from the platform.
Several major brands, including Volkswagen, General Motors and General Mills, have announced that they have suspended advertising spending on Twitter since its acquisition by Elon Musk.
Elon Musk nevertheless seems to have a limit: he indicated that he would not restore the account of the American far-right conspirator Alex Jones, who has been sued for several years by parents of victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting. of Newton, Conn., for claiming the massacre was just a staged show by opponents of guns.
Having experienced the death of his first child, he explained to be “merciless towards anyone who uses the deaths of children for (gain) financial, political or fame gains”.
Elon Musk is widely criticized for his impulsive decisions at the helm of Twitter, from mass layoffs to the chaotic launch of new features.
He dismisses criticism several times a day on his account with 118 million subscribers with “memes” (parodic images), emoticons, provocations, personal attacks and pirouettes.
But the billionaire risks being overtaken by regulators.
Twitter must, in fact, comply with European laws, including that on Digital Services (DSA) which should oblige platforms to quickly remove illegal content and to fight against misinformation.
Arcom, the French media policeman, reminded the Californian group of its “obligations” on Monday and asked it to “confirm” by Thursday that it would be “able” to deal with it and ” to inform him of the short-term development of the human and technological resources” devoted to it.
letelegramme Fr Trans