New owner Elon Musk polled Twitter users Wednesday about whether the site should offer blanket amnesty to suspended accounts, using the same method he used to handle Donald Trump’s case.
The move comes as Musk has faced pushback that his content moderation criteria are subject to his personal whims, with reinstatements for certain accounts and not others.
The poll was open until 17:46 GMT on Thursday and mimicked the strategy used a few days ago for former US President Trump.
“Should Twitter offer a blanket amnesty to suspended accounts, provided they haven’t broken the law or engaged in gross spam?” Musk tweeted.
Should Twitter grant a blanket amnesty to suspended accounts, provided they haven’t broken the law or engaged in gross spam?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 23, 2022
Trump’s Twitter account was reinstated Saturday after a slim majority of respondents supported the move, days after the former US president announced a new White House bid.
A blanket decision on suspended accounts would be closely scrutinized by government authorities over Musk’s handling of hate speech.
It could also deter Apple and Google, tech titans who have the power to ban Twitter from their mobile app stores and deny hundreds of millions of users access to the platform.
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.
The former president’s reinstatement followed that of other banned accounts, including a conservative parody site and a psychologist who broke Twitter’s rules on transgender language identification.
The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX has said conspiracy theorist Alex Jones will not be returning to Twitter and will remain banned from the platform.
Despite requests, Musk said on Sunday that he had “no pity for anyone who would use the death of children for gain, politics or fame” because of his own experience of watching his first child die.
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, who closed his $44 billion buyout of Twitter in late October, didn’t clarify whether the bans covered by the poll were permanent suspensions or temporary suspensions.
The future of content moderation on Twitter has become a pressing concern, with major advertisers staying away from the site after a botched relaunch earlier this month sparked a proliferation of fake accounts, causing embarrassment.
Meanwhile, the teams responsible for keeping bad content or nefarious activity off the site have been gutted, victims of Musk-led layoffs that saw half of the company’s total employees leave.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NewsMadura staff and is being published from a syndicated feed.)
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