Elon Musk-owned Twitter will relax its account suspension policy starting Wednesday (February 1).
The company announced the changes coming into effect last week on its Twitter Safety Account. This is because the microblogging site has already started unbanning several previously banned accounts.
What is Twitter’s new account suspension policy? Whose accounts have been restored since Musk took over the company? Let’s take a closer look.
Revisions to Twitter’s suspension policy
Beginning February 1, Twitter will take “less stringent action” against accounts that violate its rules.
This includes limiting the reach of such tweets or asking the user to delete the tweet before returning to the site.
From now on, only accounts that commit “serious or persistent, repeated violations” of company policy will be blocked.
“Serious violations include, but are not limited to: engaging in illegal content or activity, inciting or threatening violence or harm, privacy violations, platform manipulation or spam, and targeted harassment of our users,” Twitter said.
Additionally, anyone can now appeal an account suspension that is “assessed under our new reinstatement criteria,” the company announced on Jan. 28.
Last December, Twitter said it had identified various policies where permanent suspension was a “disproportionate action” for violating its rules. It said it has started restoring such accounts that were suspended for violating it.
In its statement on Saturday (January 28), the company claimed that it “did not restore accounts involved in illegal activity, threats of harm or violence, large-scale spam and platform manipulation, or if there was no recent appeal, it did so.” to have account restored”.
We have not restored accounts that have engaged in illegal activity, threats of harm or violence, large scale spam and platform manipulation, or where there has not been a recent appeal to the account restoration.
– Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) January 28, 2023
The edge Noting that this contrasts with the company’s recent recovery of former US President Donald Trump’s account, which permanently suspended Twitter in 2021, citing “the risk of further incitement to violence.”
ALSO READ: Is Elon Musk planning to increase Twitter’s character limit to 4,000?
Accounts restored since Musk took over
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Musk, who describes himself as a “free speech absolutist,” has claimed that he believes all legal content should be allowed on Twitter, he reported AFP.
Last November, he said Twitter would begin restoring most previously suspended accounts.
“People have spoken. Amnesty begins next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk tweeted on Nov. 25.
The people have spoken.
Accounts that doxxed my location are now unbanned. https://t.co/MFdXbEQFCe
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 17, 2022
The development came after he conducted a poll on Twitter asking his followers whether he should “grant suspended accounts a general amnesty provided they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam.”
Twitter had already restored Trump’s account six days before Musk’s amnesty tweet. Musk had conducted a poll in which users voted – by a slim margin – to bring back the former US President’s account.
However, Trump has not posted to Twitter, previously saying he sees “no reason” to return to the platform.
The site had suspended the Republican leader’s account following the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol.
So far, Twitter has lifted the ban on several high-profile accounts including Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut, controversial British-American former kickboxer Andrew Tate, US comedian Kathy Griffin, Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson, MyPillow founder Mike Lindell and The Babylon bee
Twitter also restored the account of “prominent white nationalist” Nick Fuentes last week, only to have it suspended again within a day, noted Insider.
Last October, Musk – who took over Twitter that same month – had also welcomed the reinstatement of the account of Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West.
However, Yes’s account was suspended again in December for violating the platform’s rules against incitement to violence. The controversial artist had shared a picture showing one Nazi swastika Symbol in a Star of David.
In response to a user saying “Elon Fix Kanye Please,” Musk wrote last month, “I’ve tried my best. Despite this, he again violated our rule against incitement to violence. Account will be suspended”.
In December, Musk was widely criticized for shutting down accounts of a group of tech journalists for publishing publicly available data on his private jet’s movements. He reorganized those accounts a day later after conducting a poll in which 58.7 percent of pollsters voted in favour.
Meanwhile, a recent report from Bloomberg has claimed that Twitter’s CEO personally ordered the suspension of a left-leaning activist, Chad Loder, last November.
Citing a leaked internal Twitter message, Bloomberg claimed on Jan. 27 to have seen a screenshot of the note that reads “Suspension: direct request from Elon Musk.”
acc Independentlymany left-leaning activists and commentators have had their accounts banned since Musk took over.
“Since the acquisition, the company’s only actions have been to silence critics of Elon, harm journalists and others, and violate basic ethical standards and privacy laws,” a former Twitter executive was quoted as saying Bloomberg.
With contributions from agencies
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