On Friday, Elon Musk revealed in a tweet that he had decided to unban some Twitter accounts, including comedian Kathy Griffin, public speaker Jordan Peterson, and the satire website The Babylon Bee.
According to the new CEO of the social media platform, Donald Trump, a former US president and candidate for president in 2025, has not yet decided to return to Twitter, Musk also discussed the most recent iteration of Twitter’s content moderation guidelines, which appear to guarantee “freedom of speech” but not “freedom of reach.”
The billionaire added that all hateful and negative tweets would now be “max deboosted and demonetized,” meaning they might not appear in users’ feeds and won’t get any attention or promotion but will still be present on the service. Users will need to conduct a specific search for these tweets in order to find them. Musk clarified in a subsequent Tweet that this policy only applies to particular tweets, not entire accounts.
In November, Elon Musk decided to allow anyone with a Twitter Blue subscription to receive a blue checkmark, Kathy Griffin was banned from Twitter for impersonating him. She was one of many who used the commotion surrounding the new checkmark policy for comedic effect. The badge had been seen on accounts confirmed to be run by businesses or well-known people. The Twitter Blue Mark has also been suspended due to widespread abuse and the brief introduction of a secondary label for verified accounts.
While conservative satire publication The Bablyon Bee refused to take down a tweet making fun of a transgender US federal government official, public figure Jordan Peterson was banned from Twitter earlier this year for breaking the platform’s hate speech policy.
Elon Musk has criticized Twitter’s handling of censorship both before and after he purchased the company.
Musk announced the creation of a “Content Moderation Council” to make decisions regarding account suspensions and reinstatements. There will probably be more lifting of bans. Researchers monitoring disinformation and hate speech have noticed an increase in racist language on Twitter, in addition to satirical impersonations and fraud attempts. According to reports, Twitter’s content moderation staff may have been significantly reduced as a result of mass resignations and layoffs that have occurred since Musk became CEO.
As fake accounts proliferated, Twitter also temporarily halted it’s recently announced $8 blue check subscription service last Friday.
Roblox, Nestle, Lockheed Martin, Musk’s Tesla, and SpaceX were among the fictitious accounts posing as well-known companies.