Musk says he's going to grant 'amnesty' to banned accounts as Twitter struggles to deal with hate speech

elon musk twitter
Muhammed Selim Korkutata / Anadolu Agency
  • On Thursday, Twitter owner Elon Musk said he will reinstate nearly all banned accounts.

  • The move comes after Musk conducted a poll on Twitter that garnered more than 3 million votes.

  • Twitter has taken down fewer hate-speech-related posts this year than in 2021, a new report found.

Twitter owner Elon Musk has taken another step in dismantling the social media platform's mechanisms against hate speech.

On Thursday, Musk tweeted that he would grant "amnesty" to all suspended Twitter accounts that haven't broken the law or "engaged in egregious spam." The decision was made after Musk ran a poll on the platform that garnered 3.1 million responses. About 72% of respondents voted in favor of reinstating those accounts, compared with roughly 28% who voted no.

"The people have spoken. Amnesty begins next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei," Musk said in a tweet, quoting a Latin phrase that means "the voice of the people is the voice of God."

The move comes as Musk continues to loosen the platform's grip on enforcement around posts with hate speech since buying Twitter for $44 billion last month. Last week, Musk revived Donald Trump's account after Twitter permanently suspended it following the insurrection at the Capitol, citing at the time a "risk of further incitement of violence."

On Thursday, European Union regulators published a report that found Twitter removed fewer hate-speech posts compared with last year, according to NBC News.

Twitter removed 45.5% of hate speech posts it was notified about, down from 49.8% in 2021, according to a sample analyzed in the EU report — and those numbers are worse than any other social media platform tested, which includes TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube.

It's not just Trump's account that has been revived. Other accounts that have been reinstated since Musk's ownership include Republican representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, controversial influencer Andrew Tate, who has a reputation of spreading misogynistic and violent comments about women, and Jordan Peterson, a psychologist who had his account suspended after posting tweets that targeted trans people.

Before taking control of the social media company, Musk criticized the platform for "failing to adhere to free speech principles." He previously announced plans to create a "content moderation council." But it might be tough for Musk to carry out any vision he has for Twitter after the recent exodus of employees. Thousands of employees have left the company in recent weeks after Musk offered an ultimatum to his workforce to either work long hours at high intensity or quit.

Read the original article on Business Insider