Twitter’s new boss has just announced the formation of a council to review banned accounts.
Elon Musk knows this decision is eagerly awaited by Main Street as well as by political circles around the world.
Since taking over the social network Twitter (TWTR) – Get Twitter Inc. Report shortly before midnight ET on October 27, the richest man in the world knows that all eyes are on him.
The decision everyone is waiting for: will he reinstate former Republican President Donald Trump, banned from the social network after the events of January 6, 2021 on Capitol Hill?
“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them–specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter–we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” Twitter said on January 8, 2021 when it executed the permanent ban.
All Opinions Are Welcomed
Musk has already spoken out against the move, saying he doesn’t support permanent bans. The billionaire presents himself as a “free speech absolutist.”
He indicated that all opinions will be allowed on the platform under his control as long as they do not break the law. However, he toned down that stance in a message to advertisers on Oct. 27.
“Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences!” he wrote to advertisers. “In addition to adhering to the laws of the land, our platform must be warm and welcoming to all, where you can choose your desired experience according to your preferences, just as you can choose, for example, to see movies or play video games ranging from all ages to mature.”
Associations and regulators fear that Twitter under Musk will mark the return of racist, hateful and bullying remarks on the platform. They also fear a proliferation of disinformation.
A senior European Union official has already warned that Twitter must respect European rules.
“In Europe, the bird will fly by our 🇪🇺 rules,” said the European commissioner for the internal market Breton.
A Moderation Council
The billionaire, who has never hidden his abjection for rules and traditions, is aware that this time he is walking on eggshells. It seems he has opted for caution. Aware that a few days before the mid-term elections, after announcing that he will vote Republican, his decision on the banned accounts would be a bombshell.
Musk announced that he will form a council on content moderation. No decision will be made before this council meets. Basically, Musk wants to take his time. He wants to avoid any abrupt decision.
“Twitter will be forming a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints,” the billionaire posted on Twitter on Oct. 28.
He added that: “No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes.”
He does not say who the members of this council will be and when they will meet for the first time.
This rules out the possibility of Trump’s account being reinstated over the weekend as many Democrats feared.
Advertisers have already warned that they would withdraw their ads on Twitter if Trump is allowed there again.
About a dozen advertisers asked ad-buyer GroupM for a hiatus of their ads on Twitter in the event the former president’s account was reactivated, according to the Wall Street Journal. Some of its other clients have not committed to a course of action.
“That doesn’t mean that we won’t be entertaining lots of emails and phone calls as soon as a transaction goes through,” said Kieley Taylor, global head of partnerships for GroupM, via the Journal. “I anticipate we’ll be busy.”