Elon Musk said Thursday that Twitter would grant “a blanket amnesty” to accounts that had been suspended from the platform starting next week. The CEO published a survey the day before to find out if the platform should restore the accounts concerned.
The news comes less than a week after Musk also ended former President Donald Trump’s ban on the platform after he conducted a similar poll. Trump was banned after the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol, but said he has no plans to return to the platform.
Musk’s user survey included a caveat that suspended account holders could join the platform “provided they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spamming.” About 3.2 million users responded to the poll, which voted 72.4% in favor of amnesty.
“The people have spoken. The amnesty begins next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei, Musk said, using a Latin expression which means “The voice of the people is the voice of God”.
Historically, Twitter has banned accounts that glorify hate and harassment, have the potential to incite violence, or rampantly spread harmful misinformation. Some high-profile people who have been banned include MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell after making a series of claims that Trump actually won the 2020 presidential election; former Trump adviser and former Breitbart executive chairman Steve Bannon after he said Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray should be beheaded; and Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes for violating the site’s policy banning violent extremist groups.
Musk’s brief tweet is unclear about how Twitter will handle content moderation in the future, now that more potentially problematic voices will return to the platform. Those concerns have only been heightened by Musk’s mass layoffs and general exodus of employees who would rather quit than be “hardcore.”