https://www.theepochtimes.com/elon-musk-vows-to-begin-restoring-some-previously-suspended-twitter-accounts-next-week_4885020.html

New Twitter owner Elon Musk said Thursday that he would begin granting “amnesty” for some previously banned accounts on the social media platform starting next week.

The move marks a reversal from the site’s previous policies regarding content moderation.

“The people have spoken,” Musk wrote on Twitter on Thursday. “Amnesty begins next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” he added, which translates to “the voice of the people, the voice of God” in Latin.

Musk’s tweet was in response to a poll conducted on Wednesday in which he asked his Twitter followers if the platform should “offer a general amnesty to suspended accounts, provided that they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam?”

The results of that poll, which closed around 12:45 pm ET on Thursday, showed that 72.4 percent of his followers were in favor of the move, while 27.6 percent were against it.

A total of 3,162,112 votes were cast.

Musk did not provide exact details as to how Twitter would establish which accounts had been suspended for breaking the law or engaging in “egregious spam” and which ones had not.

But there have been some concerns raised, such as those made by Alejandra Caraballo, clinical instructor at Harvard Law’s cyberlaw clinic, in a report by The Washington Post.

“What Musk is doing is existentially dangerous for various marginalized communities. It’s like opening the gates of hell in terms of the havoc it will cause,” said Caraballo.

Trump Twitter Reactivated

The billionaire businessman’s announcement regarding reinstating banned accounts comes shortly after he reactivated former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account following a similar poll in which he asked for users’ opinions on the matter.

Results of that poll showed that 51.8 percent of users wanted to reinstate Trump’s account, while 48.2 percent did not.

Prior to the account reinstatement, Trump had been locked out of the closed-down account, which has over 87 million followers, for nearly two years by Twitter due to an alleged “violation of the glorification of violence policy.”

He has yet to post on the newly-restored account after previously suggesting that he has no interest in rejoining, preferring his own social media site, Truth Social, instead.

The suspended Twitter account of U.S. President Donald Trump appears on an iPhone screen on Jan. 8, 2021. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Despite his lack of posting on the site, Musk’s decision to restore Trump’s account has not gone down well with activist groups, who have since urged companies to pull their advertising spending on the platform over fears the platform is no longer “safe.”

The leaders of over 60 activist groups that are part of the “Stop Toxic Twitter” coalition published a statement on Sunday alleging that Musk had turned Twitter into “a hellscape of misinformation, hate, and extremism” by reinstating the former president’s account.

The coalition also claimed that Musk had backtracked on his promise to establish a “content moderation council” before any decisions were made regarding the reinstatement of certain accounts.

“Unless and until Musk can be trusted to enforce Twitter’s prior community standards, the platform is not safe for users or advertisers,” the coalition added.

Musk, in turn, accused the coalition of political and social activist groups of breaking an agreement regarding the content moderation council.

“A large coalition of political/social activist groups agreed not to try to kill Twitter by starving us of advertising revenue if I agreed to this condition,” but they eventually “broke the deal,” Musk said on Nov. 23 when questioned by a Twitter user regarding the lack of such a council.

Since Musk purchased Twitter for $44 billion last month, the Tesla CEO has restored a number of accounts that were previously banned or suspended, including the non-profit investigative journalism watchdog Project Veritas and Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).

The businessman said last week that Twitter has a new policy of “freedom of speech but not freedom of reach,” adding that the platform will not promote and will demonetize tweets engaging in hate speech or other “negative” content.

“You won’t find the tweet unless you specifically seek it out, which is no different from rest of Internet [sic],” Musk said.

The Epoch Times has contacted Twitter for comment.

Katabella Roberts

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Katabella Roberts is a news writer for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States, world, and business news.

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