For the past few days, the billionaire has been polling Twitter users. Elon Musk has launched a new poll on reinstating suspended social network accounts, systematizing this rough method for major content moderation decisions. “Should Twitter offer a blanket amnesty to suspended accounts, as long as they haven’t broken the law or sent outrageous spam? Yes No “he asked.
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Two hours later, more than a million accounts had already spoken, largely in favor of the ” yes “. The new owner and CEO of Twitter has already rehabilitated on Saturday the account of former US President Donald Trump, banned from the social network after the assault on Capitol Hill in Washington in January 2021. “The people have spoken. Trump is going to be reinstated”he had tweeted after 15 million accounts responded to his poll on the return of the Republican multi-billionaire, including 51.8% in favor of the ” yes “.
Under pressure from advertisers
The Tesla and SpaceX boss has repeatedly explained that he bought Twitter because he considers the platform to be the “digital public space” essential to democracy in the world. He believes that content moderation is too restrictive and undermines freedom of expression. This vision raises fears of a surge of abuse (misinformation, hate speech) on the social network. Many brands have already suspended advertising spending, on which Twitter depends 90% for revenue.
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The entrepreneur with libertarian ideas first tried to appease them, promising in particular not to take any decision on the reinstatement of banned accounts before the creation of a “content moderation board with very diverse viewpoints”. “A broad coalition of social and political activists agreed not to try to kill Twitter by draining our advertising revenue on this condition”, he tweeted on Tuesday. But “They broke the deal”he added, as a justification for the reinstatement of the accounts of several personalities ousted from the platform for having broken its rules.
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Elon Musk is widely criticized for his decisions at the helm of Twitter, from mass layoffs to the chaotic launch of new features. He dismisses criticism several times a day on his account with 118 million subscribers with memes (parodic images), emoticons, provocations, personal attacks and pirouettes. “Over time, as we work our way to the truth, Twitter will gain people’s trust”for example, he tweeted on Wednesday.