Twitter reinstating most banned accounts in the coming weeks
Because most of his followers voted ‘Yes’ overwhelmingly, the Twitter and Tesla CEO has now announced that Twitter will be reinstating most of the banned accounts starting next week. Most of the accounts that have been banned, and which did not break local laws will be restored over the next few weeks.
About 72.4 per cent of all respondents who took part in the pool voted “yes” toward unbanning accounts, from a pool of slightly more than 3 million votes. Although it is difficult to know who voted and in which direction, the poll was conducted among Musk’s followers, so it wouldn’t be wise to say that the vote reflects the true conscience of the users on the platform.
Elon Musk reinstating these banned accounts is the second major moderation decision he’s made since taking over after unbanning former President Donald Trump; both decisions were made after Musk ran an informal poll from his personal Twitter account.
The decision to reverse years of moderation work at Twitter effectively trashes Musk’s original promise: to create a diverse council that would help adjudicate serious moderation decisions. Musk backed away from that idea by later blaming “political/social activist groups” for breaking an alleged “deal.” There has been no vetting or verification of Musk’s claims on this. Moreover, advertisers and brands have all been clear about why they have suspended their ad spends on the platform.
It’s still not clear which accounts will be allowed back. Musk said accounts that have “broken the law or engaged in egregious spam” would not be granted “amnesty,” but without a functional moderation policy or content moderation team for that matter, it will be difficult for Twitter to determine who all are eligible to have their accounts reinstated as per Musk’s new dictum.
Even Musk has expressed some bare-minimum standards beyond breaking the law. Musk has stated that he would not want people like notable conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to be back on the platform for “engaging in egregious spam” and propagating a false and harmful lie.
For those who are unaware, Alex Jones has often claimed that several mass shootings in the US were staged and performed by actors. The controversial right-wing political commentator has also claimed that people and families who claim to be victims of mass shootings are paid actors employed by left-leaning political activists.