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Elon Musk pledged early Wednesday that Twitter will not reinstate banned accounts for weeks, meaning users including former president Donald Trump will not have the ability to rejoin the social media site before the midterm elections.
The pledge comes as Musk is assembling a content moderation council that would guide decision-making on user bans and policing of the platform.
Musk said in a tweet that Twitter will not allow anyone back on the platform before there is a clear process to do so, and that he had met with civil rights and activist leaders about his intentions.
Twitter will “continue to combat hate & harassment & enforce its election integrity policies,” he tweeted.
Elon Musk’s Twitter is working on a ‘high’-risk paid video feature
Musk’s latest comments could help address criticism from civil society groups and activists that his plan to ease Twitter content moderation practices and restore Trump’s account could open the door to a flood of dangerous misinformation in the final days before the 2022 midterm elections. Twitter has at times struggled to curb the spread of false claims of widespread voter fraud during the 2020 presidential election and to mitigate suggestions of fraud in the upcoming contests.
Musk’s comments came after a Tuesday meeting with a handful of civil rights and activist groups including Color of Change, Free Press, NAACP and Anti-Defamation League.
Elon Musk’s Twitter working on new paid video content
Nearly 50 organizations signed on to a letter to Twitter’s top advertisers this week asking them to cease marketing spending on the social media site if “he follows through on his plans to undermine brand safety and community standards including gutting content moderation.”
The groups noted that they were concerned about the spike in hate and disinformation on the platform in the hours after Musk took over ownership of it.
“Not only are extremists celebrating Musk’s takeover of Twitter, they are seeing it as a new opportunity to post the most abusive, harassing, and racist language and imagery,” the groups wrote.
The groups also criticized Musk for publicly supported the idea of restoring the accounts “of prominent individuals Twitter had suspended for inciting and glorifying political violence.”
Twitter’s content moderation council will include representatives with widely divergent views, which will certainly include the civil rights community and groups who face hate-fueled violence
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 2, 2022
Musk has decried the use of permanent bans and said he would restore Trump’s account. Twitter banned him following the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Musk explained his thinking at an event hosted by the Financial Times in May, calling the ban a “mistake” and saying it “was a morally bad decision, to be clear, and foolish in the extreme.”
Elon Musk says he would reverse ban on Trump
Speaking generally, Musk said temporary suspensions could be appropriate in situations where such action may need to be taken. Musk has advocated for content moderation policies rooted in free speech, that do little beyond the demands of the law.
Musk has made efforts to build inroads with advertisers on his new platform — who typically do not want their promotions appearing alongside objectionable content — tweeting an open letter last week pledging Twitter will not become a “free-for-all hellscape.”
But Musk himself has diminished some of that goodwill with his actions since becoming the company’s leader, The Washington Post reported.
Elon Musk deleted a tweet about Paul Pelosi. Here’s why that matters.
Musk on Sunday tweeted — then deleted — a response to Hillary Clinton regarding the attack on Paul Pelosi in San Francisco where he opined “there is a tiny possibility there might be more to this story.”
The tweet included a link to the Santa Monica Observer, described by fact-checkers as a low-credibility source favoring the extreme right, laden with unproven claims on the circumstances of the attack.
The tweet gave rise to some doubts among advertisers.
Faiz Siddiqui contributed to this report.
Source by www.washingtonpost.com
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