Musk says he’s giving “pardons” to suspended Twitter accounts

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk said Thursday he’s giving “pardons” to suspended accounts, which online safety experts predict will lead to an increase in harassment, hate speech and misinformation.

The billionaire’s announcement came after he asked in a He posted the poll on his schedule to vote on his reinstatement For accounts that haven’t “broken the law or engaged in egregious spam.” The yes vote was 72%.

“The people have spoken. Pardons start next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” tweeted Musk, using a Latin phrase meaning “the voice of the people, the voice of God.”

Musk used the same Latin phrase after he posted a similar poll last weekend before former President Donald Trump’s recalculation, Which Twitter blocked for encouraging the January 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection. Trump said he would not return to Twitter but did not delete his account.

Such online surveys are not scientific and can easily be affected by bots.

In the month since Musk took over Twitter, groups that monitor the platform for racist, anti-Semitic, and other toxic rhetoric are increasing in the world’s actual public arena, they say. This included a Racist abuse of FIFA World Cup players escalated upon which Twitter allegedly fails to act.

The uptick in harmful content is due in large part to the disorder After Musk’s decision to lay off half of the company’s 7,500 people, he fired senior executives, then put out a series of ultimatums that prompted hundreds more to resign. We also left countless contractors in charge of content moderation. Among those resigning was a lack of confidence in Musk’s desire to stop Twitter from degenerating into a mess of uncontrolled speech It was Twitter’s Head of Trust and Safety, Yoel Roth.

Major advertisers have also abandoned the platform.

On October 28, the day after taking over, Musk tweeted that suspended accounts would not be reinstated until Twitter formed a “content management board” with diverse perspectives. That will consider cases.

On Tuesday, he said he was reneging on that promise because he agreed to the insistence of “a large coalition of social political activist groups” who subsequently “break the deal” by urging advertisers to at least temporarily stop giving Twitter their data. Business.

The day before, Twitter restored the personal account of far-right MP Marjorie Taylor Green, which was banned in January for violating the platform’s COVID misinformation policies.

Meanwhile, Musk has become increasingly friendly on Twitter with right-wing figures. Ahead of the US midterm elections this month, he urged “independent-minded” people to vote Republican.

A report from the European Union was published Thursday He said Twitter took longer to review and remove less hateful content this year than in 2021. The report was based on data collected during the spring — before Musk acquired Twitter — as part of an annual assessment of online platforms’ compliance with the block code. of conduct on misinformation. It found that Twitter rated just over half of the notifications it received about illegal hate speech within 24 hours, down from 82% in 2021.

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