Science

Elon Musk announced the restoration of blocked Twitter accounts

When asked if Twitter should offer a “general amnesty to blocked accounts, provided they didn’t break the law or send outrageous spam,”72 4% of the estimated 3.16 million people answered yes.

“People have spoken, amnesty begins next week,” Elon Musk tweeted this Thursday, the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, accompanying his post with the message “Vox Populi, Vox Dei” (“Voice of the people the people is the voice of God”).

It was with the same expression on his face that on Saturday he rehabilitated the account of former American President Donald Trump, who was blocked on the social network after the storming of the Capitol in Washington in January 2021.

The leader of Tesla and SpaceX made this decision after a similar consultation on the Blue Bird network, the method of indeterminate representativeness. A small majority (51.8%) of 15 million voters favored the return of the Republican billionaire who hasn’t tweeted since his account was restored.

Elon Musk has repeatedly explained that he bought Twitter because he sees the platform as a “digital public square” necessary for democracy in the world.

The world’s richest man sees content moderation as too restrictive, but his absolutist vision of free speech raises concerns about a surge in abuse (misinformation, hate speech) on the social network.

Many brands have already suspended their ad spend on Twitter, which accounts for 90% of their revenue.

Limitation

The libertarian entrepreneur initially tried to reassure them by reminding them in late October that the rules had not changed (yet) and promising not to make any decisions about reinstating accounts until a “content moderation board” was in place.

But advertisers who promised to keep their costs under the condition that this moderation council was created “violated the agreement,” he wrote on Tuesday as a rationale for returning accounts evicted from the platform.

Several major brands, including Volkswagen, General Motors and General Mills, have announced they will suspend spending on Twitter ads following its acquisition by Elon Musk.

Elon Musk still has a limit: he indicated that he would not restore the account of American far-right conspirator Alex Jones, who has been sued by the parents of victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newton, Connecticut for several years. ., for the fact that the massacre was just a staging of opponents of weapons.

After experiencing the death of his first child, he explained that he is “merciless towards anyone who uses the death of children for (acquisition of) financial, political or glorious gain.”

Regulators

Elon Musk has been widely criticized for his impulsive decisions at the helm of Twitter, from massive layoffs to chaotic new feature launches.

He brushes aside criticism several times a day in his account with 118 million followers with “memes” (parody images), emoticons, provocations, personal attacks and pirouettes.

But the billionaire risks being overtaken by regulators.

In fact, Twitter must comply with European laws, including Digital Services Acts (DSA), which should oblige platforms to quickly remove illegal content and fight misinformation.

Arcom, the French media cop, reminded the California group of its “commitment” on Monday and asked it to “confirm” by Thursday that it “can” handle it and “keep it informed of short-term developments.” human and technological resources”.

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