Elon Musk speaks during an event. File
Musk tweeted that "amnesty" for previously suspended Twitter accounts would begin "next week," after the majority of respondents on a 24-hour poll he had posted voted in favour of the move.
"The people have spoken. Amnesty begins next week," Twitter's new owner said, responding to his own post asking, "Should Twitter offer a general amnesty to suspended accounts, provided that they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam?"
The billionaire's announcement came after he asked in a poll posted to his timeline to vote on reinstatements for accounts that have not "broken the law or engaged in egregious spam.” The yes vote was 72%.
"The people have spoken. Amnesty begins next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk tweeted using a Latin phrase meaning "the voice of the people, the voice of God.”
Musk used the same Latin phrase after posting a similar poll last weekend before reinstating the account of former President Donald Trump, which Twitter had banned for encouraging the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection. Trump has said he won’t return to Twitter but has not deleted his account.
Such online polls are anything but scientific and can easily be influenced by bots.
In the month since Musk took over Twitter, groups that monitor the platform for racist, anti-Semitic and other toxic speech say it’s been on the rise on the world’s de facto public square. That has included a surge in racist abuse of World Cup soccer players that Twitter is allegedly failing to act on.
The uptick in harmful content is in large part due to the disorder following Musk’s decision to lay off half the company’s 7,500-person workforce, fire top executives, and then institute a series of ultimatums that prompted hundreds more to quit. Also let go were an untold number of contractors responsible for content moderation. Among those resigning over a lack of faith in Musk’s willingness to keep Twitter from devolving into a chaos of uncontrolled speech were Twitter’s head of trust and safety, Yoel Roth. Major advertisers have also abandoned the platform.
On Oct.28, the day after he took control, Musk tweeted that no suspended accounts would be reinstated until Twitter formed a "content moderation council” with diverse viewpoints that would consider the cases.
On Tuesday, he said he was reneging on that promise because he’d agreed to at the insistence of "a large coalition of political-social activists groups” who later ”broke the deal” by urging that advertisers at least temporarily stop giving Twitter their business.
A day earlier, Twitter reinstated the personal account of far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, which was banned in January for violating the platform’s COVID misinformation policies.
“The best people are staying, so I’m not super worried,” Musk tweeted on Thursday night in response to the widespread departures. Musk on Friday said he had reinstated certain banned accounts on his site, but said no decision was made on welcoming back Trump.
"Same doxxing rules apply to ‘journalists’ as to everyone else," Musk tweeted on Thursday. He later added: "Criticising me all day long is totally fine, but doxxing my real-time location and endangering my family is not.”
The fresh layoffs include product managers, big data experts and engineers working on machine learning and platform reliability, the US daily reported on Sunday.
Nearly 13,400 people were forced to evacuate as water consumed hundreds of homes around the country, turning some streets into raging rivers of brown water, according to Haiti’s Civil Protection Agency.
Sheikh Hamdan said on Twitter, "We extend our sincere condolences and sympathy to the family, relatives, companions and readers of Khalid Al Qashtini, the Iraqi journalist and writer, and the owner of the creative pen, who enriched our Arab world with his publications. With his departure, the Arab media loses a symbol of creativity.”
The authorities said, “Abu Dhabi Police and Abu Dhabi Civil Defence Authority teams are dealing with a fire that broke out this evening at a warehouse in Mussafah industrial area.
"Every year, over 400m tonnes of plastic is produced worldwide - one-third of which is used just once,” said Antonio Guterres. "Every day, the equivalent of over 2,000 garbage trucks full of plastic is dumped into our oceans, rivers, and lakes.”