Twitter users are being polled once again by Elon Musk to decide whether or not to ease the restrictions on certain accounts.
However, he makes it clear that accounts that haven’t infringed the law or sent “egregious spam” will be qualified for a return. On Wednesday, he asked: “Should Twitter offer a general amnesty to suspended accounts, provided that they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam?” He gave users 24 hours to vote, and so far, “yes” is ahead by a wide margin.
In a previous poll on the topic, “yes” votes narrowly edged over “no” votes, with Musk asking whether he should welcome former president Donald Trump back onto the platform. It’s too early to predict the results of the general amnesty poll because it has only been active for a few hours.
Musk announced that a council would be formed at Twitter soon after assuming control to decide who should be permitted back onto the platform. After abandoning that notion, it appears that Musk is now open to making significant adjustments that are entirely based on his personal opinions. Rolling back more than a decade’s worth of moderation decisions represents such a significant shift, especially given that Twitter’s core offering is content control.
The timing of this change, if it occurs at all, is not specified in Musk’s poll. Theoretically, it shouldn’t matter if the website is overrun with bad actors, in line with his vision for the platform. He has previously stated that he wants hateful and negative tweets to essentially be invisible unless you specifically look for them. However, since Twitter’s trust and safety teams were severely impacted by layoffs, moderators would still be needed to properly report those accounts. Musk might also intend to rely more on Twitter Blue verification, though we’ve seen some ways in which it can be abused and it isn’t yet available.
At least a few exceptions to Musk’s free speech principles have been made in the past. For instance, he stated that Alex Jones would not be permitted to use the platform.