Musk to grant ‘amnesty’ to suspended Twitter accounts after poll

Online security consultants predict it can spur an increase in harassment, hate speech and misinformation.

SAN FRANCISCO — New Twitter proprietor Elon Musk mentioned Thursday that he’s granting “amnesty” for suspended accounts, which on-line security consultants predict will spur an increase in harassment, hate speech and misinformation.

The billionaire’s announcement got here after he requested in a poll posted to his timeline to vote on reinstatements for accounts that haven’t “broken the law or engaged in egregious spam.” The sure vote was 72%.

“The people have spoken. Amnesty begins next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk tweeted utilizing a Latin phrase that means “the voice of the people, the voice of God.”

Musk used the identical Latin phrase after posting an analogous poll final final weekend before reinstating the account of former President Donald Trump, which Twitter had banned for encouraging the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol revolt. Trump has mentioned he received’t return to Twitter however has not deleted his account.

Such on-line polls are something however scientific and might simply be influenced by bots.

In the month since Musk took over Twitter, teams that monitor the platform for racist, anti-Semitic and different poisonous speech say it’s been on the rise on the world’s de facto public sq.. That has included a surge in racist abuse of World Cup soccer players that Twitter is allegedly failing to act on.

The uptick in dangerous content material is in large part due to the disorder following Musk’s choice to lay off half the corporate’s 7,500-person workforce, hearth prime executives, after which institute a sequence of ultimatums that prompted a whole bunch extra to give up. Also let go had been an untold variety of contractors accountable for content material moderation. Among these resigning over a scarcity of religion in Musk’s willingness to hold Twitter from devolving right into a chaos of uncontrolled speech were Twitter’s head of trust and safety, Yoel Roth.

Major advertisers have additionally abandoned the platform.

On Oct. 28, the day after he took management, Musk tweeted that no suspended accounts could be reinstated till Twitter shaped a “content moderation council” with diverse viewpoints that may take into account the instances.

On Tuesday, he mentioned he was reneging on that promise as a result of he’d agreed to on the insistence of “a large coalition of political-social activists groups” who later ”broke the deal” by urging that advertisers no less than quickly cease giving Twitter their enterprise.

A day earlier, Twitter reinstated the personal account of far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, which was banned in January for violating the platform’s COVID misinformation insurance policies.

Musk, in the meantime, has been getting more and more chummy on Twitter with right-wing figures. Before this month’s U.S. midterm elections he urged “independent-minded” people to vote Republican.

A report from the European Union published Thursday mentioned Twitter took longer to assessment hateful content material and eliminated much less of it this 12 months in contrast with 2021. The report was based mostly on information collected over the spring — earlier than Musk acquired Twitter — as a part of an annual analysis of on-line platforms’ compliance with the bloc’s code of conduct on disinformation. It discovered that Twitter assessed simply over half of the notifications it obtained about unlawful hate speech inside 24 hours, down from 82% in 2021.

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