Elon Musk says he will grant 'amnesty' to suspended Twitter accounts

Suspended Twitter accounts are to be granted 'amnesty' by the social media firm's owner, Elon Musk. Credit: AP

Twitter owner Elon Musk has said he is granting "amnesty" to suspended accounts, prompting concerns of a rise in harassment, hate speech and misinformation.

The billionaire's announcement came after he asked people to vote on reinstatements for accounts which 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.

He used a Latin phrase meaning "the voice of the people, the voice of God".

Last week, Musk posted the same phrase after asking people to take part in a separate poll, before reinstating the account of former US president Donald Trump.

Twitter had originally banned Trump for encouraging the Capitol insurrection in January 2021.

Meanwhile, Trump has said he won’t return to Twitter but has not deleted his account.

In the month since Musk took over Twitter, groups that monitor the platform for racist, anti-Semitic and other toxic speech have reported rises in such language.

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Prior to his takeover, Musk had said no suspended accounts would be reinstated until Twitter formed a "content moderation council" with diverse viewpoints that would consider the cases.

However, on Tuesday, he said he was reneging on that promise because he had listened to "a large coalition of political-social activists groups".

What has happened in the month since Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter?

  • Shortly after completing his takeover, Musk issued a swathe of job cuts, whittling down half of Twitter's 7,500 full-time workforce.

  • In November, Musk unveiled Twitter Blue - a new verification method which allows users to pay a £6.99 monthly subscription fee for a blue verification badge.

  • Twitter users made parodies of famous people and businesses after exploiting the new verification system.

  • In the wake of job cuts, Twitter reportedly closed its office buildings on a temporary basis.

  • Musk reactivated Donald Trumps Twitter account.