San Francisco Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, said on Thursday he is granting “amnesty” to suspended accounts, which online safety experts say will fuel an increase in harassment, hate speech and harassment. disinformation.
The billionaire’s announcement came after he surveyed his account about reinstating accounts that have not “broken the law or engaged in egregious spam.” The yes vote was 72%.
“The people have spoken. The amnesty starts next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei”Musk tweeted using a Latin phrase meaning “the voice of the people is the voice of God.”
Musk used the same phrase after publishing a similar poll last weekend before reinstating the account of former US President Donald Trump, which Twitter had shut down for encouraging the Capitol Hill insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021. Trump has said that You won’t be back on Twitter, but you haven’t deleted your account.
These types of online surveys lack scientific rigor and can be easily influenced by bots.
Since Musk took control of Twitter a month ago, groups that monitor the platform for racism, anti-Semitism and other toxic language say it has increased.
The surge in harmful content is due in large part to the disarray that followed Musk’s decision to fire half of the company’s 7,500 workers, as well as top executives, and then issue a series of ultimatums that prompted their resignations. of hundreds of other people. An undisclosed number of outside workers responsible for content moderation were also laid off.
Among those who resigned due to a lack of faith in Musk’s will to prevent Twitter from becoming a chaos of wild speech is Twitter’s head of trust and security, Yoel Roth.
Big advertisers also left the platform.
On October 28, the day after taking control, Musk tweeted that suspended accounts would not be reinstated until Twitter formed a “content moderation council” made up of people with diverse viewpoints that would consider cases.
On Tuesday, he said he was backing off that promise because he had agreed to it at the insistence of “a large coalition of political and social activist groups” who later “broke the deal” by urging advertisers to stop giving Twitter their business. , at least temporarily.
One day before, Twitter has reactivated the personal account of US Federal Representative Marjorie Taylor, which was removed in January for violating the platform’s COVID misinformation rules.
Musk has become increasingly friendly on Twitter with right-wing personalities. Ahead of this month’s US midterm elections, he urged “independent-minded” people to vote Republican.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism