Elon Musk decrees “general amnesty” for Twitter users expelled for hate or harassment

The new owner of Twitter, billionaire businessman Elon Musk, has announced that he will apply a “general amnesty” to accounts suspended next week, unless they violated the law or engaged in “outrageous spam.” This means that the businessman opens the door to the return of users who were expelled from the social network for toxic behavior such as the dissemination of hate messages, harassment of other members of the network, incitement to violence or participation in dissemination campaigns. hoaxes and manipulation.

Elon Musk reinstates Donald Trump’s Twitter account


Until now, Twitter also did not allow those users to open new accounts. If it detected that one of them was behind a profile with a new identity, it proceeded to block it again. Now Musk will allow those members expelled from the social network to resume their activity with the accounts from which they launched these types of comments.

The billionaire has made the decision in what seems to be his new modus operandi to manage the internal politics of the platform: surveys among users launched from his own Twitter account and which he keeps open for about 24 hours. “Should Twitter offer a blanket amnesty to suspended accounts, as long as they haven’t broken the law or egregiously spammed?” he asked in the latter. He received 3.1 million votes from Twitter’s 240 million active users. 72% voted yes.

For the businessman it was enough. “The people have spoken. The amnesty starts next week. Vox populi, vox dei ”, he tweeted this Thursday night.

The tycoon already used this method to assess whether he should reinstate Donald Trump on Twitter, after his account was blocked for promoting the violent assault on the Washington Capitol on January 6, 2021. The option that advocated the return of the former president added 52% of the votes in that survey. Despite acknowledging that bot swarms had rigged the vote, Musk returned the account to Trump. “We learned some interesting lessons to clean up future surveys,” he said.

Musk’s gesture was rejected by Trump, who has not used Twitter again despite having the possibility to do so. The Republican says he is focused on promoting Truth Social, the social network he founded after being expelled from all platforms for what happened at the Capitol and during the 2020 presidential elections, when he repeatedly and without evidence spread the hoax that his defeat had been due to electoral manipulation.

Musk closes Twitter anti-hate office in Brussels

Allowing the return of former Twitter members expelled for toxic behavior is not the only decision that the billionaire has taken this week to relax protection measures against misinformation and hate on the platform. As revealed by Financial TimesMusk has ordered the closure of the Twitter office in Brussels, whose main mission was to adapt the practices of the social network to community standards that urge networks to veto such practices.

The two executives in charge of Twitter’s digital policy in Europe left the company during the mass resignation of workers last week. They had been tasked with leading Twitter’s efforts to comply with the EU’s misinformation code and Digital Services Act, an ambitious rule that came into effect last week and sets out new measures on how big tech should protect users.

“I am concerned by the news that such a large number of Twitter staff have been made redundant in Europe,” said Věra Jourová, EU vice-president in charge of the disinformation code. “If you want to detect and act effectively against misinformation and propaganda, you need resources,” she explained to the aforementioned medium.

constant fluctuations

In early November, Musk had assured that Twitter “will not allow” any person expelled from the platform to be reinstated until the company had a regulated process for it. He also announced the creation of “a moderating council” with “representatives with widely divergent viewpoints, no doubt including the civil rights community and groups fighting hate-fueled violence” to help shape that process.

With the decision to grant the “general amnesty” next week and to close the Brussels office, Musk once again changes his policy in this regard. Of the “moderation advice” or the regulated process of recovery of accounts for those expelled, he has not given any details. On the contrary, last week it was learned that it had fired 4,000 subcontracted moderators that the company had around the world, in addition to those it employed directly and were fired when it cut 50% of the workforce.

Added to these ups and downs is the erratic economic policy. This Wednesday Musk indefinitely froze his main plan to oxygenate Twitter accounts: the possibility of obtaining account verification in exchange for a payment of $8 a month. The businessman already had to stop the process after unleashing chaos on the platform, which suffered an explosion of false profiles and impersonations with verified accounts that were actually posing as other people or organizations. This week he announced that he will not be taking it back any time soon.

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