Elon Musk said Thursday that Twitter will grant a “general amnesty” to accounts that have been suspended by the platform starting next week. The CEO publishes a survey day earlier whether the platform should restore the affected accounts.
The news comes in a week Musk also ended former President Donald Trump’s ban from the platform after conducting such a survey. Trump was banned after the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol, but said he has no intention of returning to the platform.
Musk’s survey of users included a warning that suspended account holders could rejoin the platform “provided they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam.” About 3.2 million users responded to the poll, who voted 72.4% in favor of the amnesty.
“People have spoken. The amnesty starts next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk said, using a Latin phrase meaning “The voice of the people is the voice of God.”
Historically, Twitter has banned accounts that glorify hate and harassment, have the potential to incite violence, or rampantly spread misinformation that could cause harm. Some high-profile figures who were banned include MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell after he made a series of claims that Trump actually won the 2020 presidential election; former Trump adviser and former Breitbart executive chairman Steve Bannon after he said Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray should be beheaded; and Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes for violating the site’s policy banning violent extremist groups.
It’s not clear from Musk’s brief tweet how Twitter will handle content moderation in the future, now that more potentially problematic voices will return to the platform. These concerns are only exacerbated by Musk’s massive layoffs and the general exodus of employees who would relse leave than be “hardcore”.