Elon Musk Offers Blanket Amnesty To Suspended Twitter Accounts | Elon Musk

Elon Musk has announced a blanket amnesty for suspended Twitter accounts in a move that brought a warning that “super-spreaders of hate” will return to the social media platform.

Twitter’s new owner said an amnesty for banned users would begin next week after a majority of votes in a poll on his account supported the move. Accounts suspended from Twitter include former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon, right-wing British commentator Katie Hopkins, and former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke.

Musk had launched a poll on Wednesday asking whether a general amnesty should be offered to accounts provided they have not “broken the law or engaged in blatant spamming.” Musk did not specify which laws he was referring to. The poll produced more than 3.1 million votes, of which 72% were in favor of amnesty.

Should Twitter grant a blanket amnesty to suspended accounts, provided they haven’t broken the law or engaged in gross spam?

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 23, 2022

Announcing the result, Musk tweeted: “The people have spoken. The amnesty starts next week.” He added “Vox Populi, Vox Dei”, a Latin phrase meaning “the voice of the people”. [is] the voice of God.”

Musk’s announcement came days after he reinstated Trump’s account, as well as the accounts of Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson, former professional kickboxer Andrew Tate — whose extremely misogynistic views led to a Twitter ban in 2017 — and the unlocking of the account of American rapper Ye, formerly Kanye West, who was penalized last month for posting anti-Semitic comments.

The Center for Countering Digital Hate, a campaign group, said “superspreaders” of hateful content would benefit from the move and urged advertisers, many of whom have already halted spending on the platform, to stop funding Twitter.

“Super-spreaders of hate, abuse and harassment will be the only people to benefit from this latest decision by Twitter,” said Imran Ahmed, CEO of CCDH. “The choice for advertisers has never been stronger: stick with and support Elon Musk, or protect their brands and make sure their marketing money is not used to facilitate the spread of hate, abuse and disinformation.”

Angelo Carusone, president of the US campaign group Media Matters, which monitors “conservative disinformation”, said undoing Twitter’s suspensions would make Twitter an “engine of radicalisation”.

This week, Musk ruled out the return of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who has promoted the false claim that the Sandy Hook school massacre was a hoax, saying he had “no mercy” on people who profit from the deaths of children for personal fame. Other banned Twitter accounts include right-wing writer Milo Yiannopoulos and former BBC presenter David Icke.

Musk had previously said there would be no account recovery until a newly announced content moderation board met. However, Tesla’s CEO said at the time that human rights groups “broke the deal” by urging advertisers to stop spending on the platform.

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