Controversial Twitter accounts restored under Elon Musk, explained

Now at the helm of Twitter, Elon Musk has begun implementing his plan to relax the social media giant’s content rules by reviewing and reinstating several banned controversial accounts, including that of former President Donald Trump. The reassignments come after a series of divisive decisions Musk has made since acquiring the platform. Here’s what you need to know about Musk allowing Trump and others to return to Twitter:

How did this all start?

Musk’s critique of Twitter’s trust and security policies began months before he acquired the social networking platform. He accused the site of “failing to adhere to the principles of freedom of expression” by banning certain accounts, and claimed that Twitter “fundamentally undermines democracy”.

Musk, who called earlier himself an ‘free speech absolutist’, is determined to change Twitter’s standards about what can and cannot be posted. Shortly after closing the $44 billion deal to buy the company, he announced he would be working on a process to reinstate accounts that had been banned for violating Twitter’s previous policies against hate speech and misinformation.

At the time, Musk vowed that banned users would not be allowed to return to the platform until a content moderation board met to plan the best way to do it. Musk tweeted about his plans for the proposed panel, stating that the group will “include representatives of widely diverse views, certainly including the civil rights community and groups facing hate-fueled violence.”

Since Musk took over, he has made several controversial decisions, including firing company executives, laying off employees en masse, and charging users for verification. The company also suffered an exodus of employees after Musk asked them to choose between committing to being “extremely hardcore” and working “long hours at high intensity”, or leaving Twitter with a three-month severance package.

Who has recovered?

Former President Donald Trump

After being permanently banned nearly two years ago, the former president’s Twitter account has been reactivated, opening the door for him to return to the platform in the future. Before buying the platform, Musk called Twitter’s decision to ban Trump “a mistake” and promised he would reverse the ban if he took ownership. Musk posted an informal poll users ask if he should reinstate Trump’s account, and 58 percent responded in favor of the idea.

Twitter permanently suspended Trump’s account in January 2021 after he wrote a series of tweets that the platform said contributed to the January 6 attack on the Capitol. Before the ban, the company deleted several of Trump’s tweets that violated its civil integrity policy and initiated a 12-hour suspension as a warning. The company decided to indefinitely ban his account after he continued to write inflammatory tweets, including one that said, “to everyone who asked: I’m not going to the January 20 inauguration.”

In explaining their decision, the company said its tweets violated policy by “providing further indication that President Trump has no intention of facilitating an ‘orderly transition’ and instead intends to won the victory, continue to support, empower and protect.” election.”

After the poll closed, Musk tweeted, “The people have spoken. Trump is reinstated. Vox Populi, Vox Dei.” The site officially reactivated Trump’s Twitter account minutes later, but it remains unclear if the former president plans to return to the platform. Trump has previously said he would remain on his social media platform Truth Social even if reinstated. “I don’t see any reason for it,” Trump noted in a recent speech about returning to Twitter. He also cited the platform’s “terrible” problems, while praising his own platform for being “very, very powerful”. Bloomberg reports.

Kanye West

Rapper and fashion mogul Kanye West’s recent fall from billionaire status resulted from the backlash after he made multiple anti-Semitic remarks during interviews and in social media posts online. Van West, known legally as Ye, had his Twitter account suspended in October after writing an anti-Semitic diatribe threatening to use “death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE.”

West had returned to the platform following a similar ban on Instagram after posting anti-Semitic posts claiming that rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs was controlled by Jewish people. Musk initially welcomed West back to the platform, as his last time on Twitter was in 2020, but West’s return was short-lived. Following the platform’s decision to suspend West over his anti-Semitic tweet, Musk said he spoke to West, tweet, “Speaked to you today and expressed my concerns about his recent tweet, which I think he took to heart.” Shortly after the decision, West announced plans to buy conservative social media platform Parler.

Andrew Tate

Twitter is just one of many social media platforms that banned controversial influencer Andrew Tate. Tate has become infamous for making violent, misogynistic remarks about women and spreading what some consider toxic masculinity. He has built up a large fan base that has caused concern among his critics, who fear the influence of his rhetoric. Over the past year, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and TikTok have all banned Tate from posting on their sites, following in the footsteps of Twitter, which banned him in 2017. Tate’s Twitter suspension came after Tate tweeted that women “should bear some responsibility”. for assaults, per NBC.

Tate went viral after making videos comparing women to property, praising his status as an “alpha male” and describing how he would attack a woman if she accused him of cheating. In a Vimeo video for his fans, Tate claimed that his comments that critics called misogynistic were “taken out of context”. He also called himself a “victim” of his “own success.”

After being banned for five years, Musk recently reinstated Tate’s Twitter account. Tate celebrated by tweeting a photo of herself with the caption“Mastery is a funny thing. It’s almost like losing on a long enough scale just isn’t an option.”

Jordan Peterson

Canadian psychologist and self-help author Jordan Peterson also returned to Twitter after being banned on June 28 for violating the company’s hate speech policy. Forbes. After the post triggered his suspension, Peterson chose to leave the platform rather than delete the post.

Following his suspension, Peterson posted a nearly 15-minute YouTube video saying he would rather die than delete the post. He also infamously said, “Up yours, woke up moralists. We’ll see who cancels who!” The line went viral and turned into a Peterson meme reposted hours after returning to the platform.

Kathy Griffin

Comedian Kathy Griffin earned her account suspension about a month ago when she impersonated and mocked the platform’s new CEO in several tweets. Griffin changed her profile picture and name to match Musk’s account, tweeting, “After a lively discussion with the women in my life, I’ve decided that voting blue for their choice is only right. (They’re sexy, too, by the way. women. .) #VoteBlueToProtectWomen.” The platform immediately suspended Griffin and several other Musk parody accounts.

Griffin seemed indifferent to the news that she can now return to Twitter following Musk’s decision to have her suspension overturned. On Mastodon, a social network popular among former Twitter users, Griffin wrote, “Dear Space Karen. No thanks.”

The Babylonian Bee

Conservative satirical site The Babylonian Bee lost access to his Twitter account in March after making disparaging remarks about Rachel Levine, a trans woman who currently serves as the assistant secretary of health of the US. The outlet nominated Levine as “Man of the Year” in response to her being named one of USA todayWoman of the Year. The site chose to stay away from Twitter rather than delete the offending tweet, at the company’s request. In response to the terms of the ban, Babylonian Bee CEO Seth Dillon wrote, “Truth is not hate speech. If the price of telling the truth is the loss of our Twitter account, so be it. We will not compromise the truth to keep our account. “

After Musk announced that the account had been restored on November 18, The Babylonian Bee tweeted“We’re back. Let that sink in.”

Marjorie Taylor Greene

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) had her in person Twitter account permanently suspended in early January 2022 after repeatedly posting incorrect information about the COVID-19 pandemic. Greene responded at the time, “Twitter is an enemy of America and can’t handle the truth. That’s fine, I’ll show America we don’t need them, and it’s time to defeat our enemies.”

The company reinstated her account on Nov. 21. Greene celebrated her return on Twitter on Monday with a video that went on for over an hour, during which she pledged to spend her time on the platform “testing every free speech restriction I have”. She further tweeted that the suspension prevented her from raising funds “to face a huge legal challenge and fund my campaign.” Along with the link to her campaign website, she added, “Send me a gift because I’m still fighting.”

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