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Elon Musk announces ‘amnesty’ for suspended Twitter accounts

Elon Musk has announced that suspended Twitter accounts will be amnestied starting next week.

The head of the company, which completed a $44 billion acquisition in October, polled Twitter users and a majority of users supported the move.

The poll posted on Wednesday asked, “Should Twitter grant a blanket amnesty to suspended accounts, provided they haven’t broken the law or engaged in gross spam?”

About 72.4 percent of voters said yes, while 27.6 percent said no. 3,162,112 votes were cast during the 24-hour poll.

Musk said Thursday: “The people have spoken. The amnesty starts next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei.’

The statement opens the possibility that thousands of suspended accounts will be reinstated immediately. It’s not yet clear if there will be a review process before accounts are reactivated, or if Twitter will just take a broad approach and restore them all at once.

Musk polled Twitter users whether suspended accounts should be amnestied, and the majority of voters voted yes.

More than 3 million people responded to the poll, and an overwhelming majority voted yes

More than 3 million people responded to the poll, and an overwhelming majority voted yes

More than 3 million people responded to the poll, and an overwhelming majority voted yes

The poll follows another recent inquiry that asked whether former President Donald Trump should be reinstated.

After a majority said yes, Trump’s account was reactivated — and then Trump said he saw “no reason” to rejoin anyway.

In his earlier announcement that Trump’s account would be reinstated, Musk also used the Latin phrase “Vox Populi, Vox Dei.”

Musk has already restored several accounts since his acquisition.

They include those for Kathy Griffin, Jordan Peterson, and The Babylon Bee.

Conservative author and psychologist Dr Peterson was suspended from the platform after saying transgender star Elliot Page had his breasts removed by a ‘criminal doctor’.

The Babylon Bee — whose account was restricted in March for naming U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health Rachel Levine, a transgender woman, “Man of the Year” — was also given full access to its account.

Griffin was recently suspended for impersonating Musk on Twitter.

In a recent explanation of his account suspension policy, Musk said, “The new Twitter policy is freedom of speech, but not freedom of expression.

“Negative/hate tweets are deboosted and demonetized to the max, so no ads or other revenue for Twitter.

“You won’t find the tweet unless you specifically look for it, which is no different than on the rest of the internet.”

The Chief Twit added, “Note, this only applies to the individual tweet, not the entire account.”

Polls on Twitter are open to all users and are unscientific and potentially the target of fake accounts and bots.

A blanket amnesty for suspended accounts could potentially raise alarms among government authorities who have been keeping a close eye on Musk since he bought the influential platform.

It could also deter Apple and Google, tech titans who have the power to ban Twitter from their mobile app stores over content concerns.

Trump was banned from the platform early last year for his role in the January 6 attack on the US Capitol by a mob of his supporters seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Trump said he heard Musk’s poll got a lot of responses, but he “sees no reason for it (a return to Twitter).”

Musk recently reinstated former President Donald Trump after he was kicked off the site over posts posted after the January 6 riot at the Capitol.  The two are pictured here in the Oval Office of the White House.

Musk recently reinstated former President Donald Trump after he was kicked off the site over posts posted after the January 6 riot at the Capitol.  The two are pictured here in the Oval Office of the White House.

Musk recently reinstated former President Donald Trump after he was kicked off the site over posts posted after the January 6 riot at the Capitol. The two are pictured here in the Oval Office of the White House.

Kathy Griffin

Kathy Griffin

Jordan Peterson

Jordan Peterson

Kathy Griffin (left) has been suspended for posing as Musk on Twitter. Jordan Peterson (right) was suspended after saying transgender star Elliot Page had his breasts removed by a ‘criminal doctor’. Their accounts have also been restored.

“They have a lot of problems with Twitter. You see what’s going on. It (the company) might make it, it might not make it, but the problems are incredible and the commitments are negative,” he said.

In addition to Trump, names booted from Twitter include Roger Stone and Steve Bannon.

Stone has said he wants to come back after being suspended in 2017 for assaulting a journalist.

He was briefly back on Twitter in April with an alternate account, saying he was “concerned to see how strong Elon Musk’s commitment to free speech is.”

Steve Bannon is another former Trump adviser looking to return to the platform after being kicked out in 2020.

Roger Stone

Roger Stone

Steve Bannon

Steve Bannon

Those expected to be returned to Twitter under Musk include former Trump advisers Roger Stone (left) and Steve Bannon (right), who booted from the platform in 2017 and 2020 respectively

The former White House chief strategist had posted a video suggesting that Dr. Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray should be beheaded.

The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX has said conspiracy theorist Alex Jones will not be returning to Twitter and will remain banned from the platform.

Musk said on Sunday that he had “no pity for anyone who would use the death of children for gain, politics or fame” because of his own experience of the death of his first child.

Jones has been ordered to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in damages for his lies about the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that killed 26 people, mostly children.

Musk did not clarify whether the bans covered by the poll were permanent suspensions or temporary suspensions.

The future of content moderation on Twitter has become a pressing concern, with major advertisers staying away from the site after a botched relaunch earlier this month sparked a proliferation of fake accounts, causing embarrassment.

Meanwhile, the teams responsible for keeping nefarious activities off site have been dismantled, victims of Musk-led layoffs that saw half of the company’s total workforce leave.

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