Elon Musk announces 'amnesty' for suspended Twitter accounts 

BREAKING NEWS: Elon Musk says Twitter ‘amnesty’ for suspended accounts will begin next week – as long as they haven’t broken the law or spammed users

  • New Twitter boss polled users on whether amnesty should be offered to suspended accounts
  • More than 3.1 million Twitter users votes in the poll, with 72 percent saying yes 
  • Musk said: ‘The people have spoken. Amnesty begins next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei.’ The phrase is Latin for ‘the voice of the people is the voice of God’
  • Decision comes after former President Donald Trump had his account reinstated following a similar poll last week

Elon Musk has announced suspended Twitter accounts will be offered an ‘amnesty’ from next week.

The head of the company, who completed a $44 billion takeover in October, polled Twitter users and a majority of users backed the move.

The poll posted on Wednesday asked: ‘Should Twitter offer a general amnesty to suspended accounts, provided that they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam?’

Some 72.4 percent of voters said yes, while 27.6 percent said no. There were 3,162,112 votes cast during the 24-hour poll.

Musk said on Thursday: ‘The people have spoken. Amnesty begins next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei.’

The declaration opens up the possibility that thousands of suspended accounts will be immediate reinstated. It’s not yet clear whether there will be a vetting process before accounts are reactivated, or whether Twitter will simply take a broad brush approach and restore all of them at once.

Musk polled Twitter users on whether suspended accounts should be offered an amnesty and the majority of voters chose yes.

More than 3 million people responded to the poll, with an overwhelming majority choosing yes

More than 3 million people responded to the poll, with an overwhelming majority choosing yes

The poll follows another recent survey which asked whether former President Donald Trump should be reinstated.

After a majority said yes, Trump’s account was reactivated – and then Trump said he didn’t see ‘any reason’ to rejoin anyway. 

In his earlier announcement that Trump’s account would be restored, Musk also used the Latin phrase ‘Vox Populi, Vox Dei’.

Musk has already reinstated several accounts since his takeover. 

They include those for Kathy Griffin, Jordan Peterson and The Babylon Bee.

Conservative author and psychologist Dr Peterson was suspended from the platform after saying transgender star Elliot Page had his breasts removed by a ‘criminal physician.’

The Babylon Bee – which had its account restricted in march for naming U.S. assistant secretary for health Rachel Levine, a transgender woman, ‘Man of the Year’ – got full access to its account as well.

Griffin was recently suspended for impersonating Musk on Twitter.

Polls on Twitter are open to all users and are unscientific and potentially targeted by fake accounts and bots.

A blanket amnesty for suspended accounts could potentially alarm government authorities that are keeping a close look at Musk’s handling of hateful speech since he bought the influential platform.

It could also spook Apple and Google, tech titans that have the power to ban Twitter from their mobile app stores over content concerns.

Trump was banned from the platform early last year for his role in the January 6 attack on the US Capitol by a mob of his supporters seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Trump said he’d heard Musk’s poll was getting a big response, but that he doesn’t ‘see any reason for it (a return to Twitter).’

‘They have a lot of problems at Twitter. You see what ‘s going on. It (the company) may make it, it may not make it, but the problems are incredible and the engagements are negative,’ he said.

The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX has said that conspiracy theorist Alex Jones will not be returning to Twitter and will remain banned from the platform.

Musk on Sunday said he had ‘no mercy for anyone who would use the deaths of children for gain, politics or fame’ due to his own experience with the death of his first child.

Jones has been ordered to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in damages for his lies about the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that killed 26 people, mostly children.

Musk did not make clear whether the bans to be covered by the poll were permanent suspensions or temporary ones.

The future of content moderation on Twitter has become an urgent concern, with major advertisers keeping away from the site after a failed relaunch earlier this month saw a proliferation of fake accounts, causing embarrassment.

Meanwhile the teams in charge of keeping nefarious activity off the site have been gutted, victims of Musk-led layoffs that saw half of total employees leave the company.

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