New Twitter boss Elon Musk announced on Thursday that he would reinstate suspended accounts on the platform next week as long as they didn’t break the law, returning to the hopeful side of his takeover.
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.
“The people have spoken, the amnesty begins next week,” Elon Musk tweeted on Thursday, the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States, accompanied by the message “Vox Populi, Vox Dei” (“Voice of the people, the voice of God”).
It was with the same expression on his face that on Saturday he rehabilitated the account of former US 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, a 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.
Fear of the onslaught of abuse
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 ad spend on Twitter, which is 90% dependent on Twitter for revenue.
Elon Musk has been widely criticized for his impulsive decisions at the helm of Twitter, from massive layoffs to chaotic new feature launches. He shrugged off criticism several times a day on his 118 million-follower account with parody images, emoticons, provocations, personal attacks, and pirouettes.