Elon Musk has posted another Twitter poll, the results of which could see thousands of accounts unbanned. The billionaire was talking about bringing "free speech" to Twitter long before his takeover of the social media platform was confirmed. Speculation was also rife regarding the status of accounts that were banned under Twitter's old rules, but wouldn't have been sanctioned under whatever rules Musk was set to implement.
As you may expect, most of the speculation centered around high-profile accounts, most notably that of former president Donald Trump. Other right-wing figures who were banned from the platform include controversial former professor Jordan Peterson, provocateur Milo Yianoppolis, and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Initially, Musk said an independent content moderation council would be formed before any major decisions, including unbanning, were made. However, that idea was eventually abandoned. On November 18, Musk gave some clarification on Twitter's current rules. He stated that "freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom of reach" and said that while controversial speech would be allowed, some posts would be "max de-boosted and demonetized." The world's richest man's logic is that people would have to seek that type of content out on Twitter, much like they do on the general internet. Musk also unbanned several high-profile accounts, including Kathy Griffin, who was banned for impersonating him, the aforementioned Jordan Peterson, and the satirical website the Babylon Bee. Since then, Musk has stated that Alex Jones would not be unbanned and came up with a creative way of deciding what to do with President Trump's account.
Musk is polling a mass unbanning
The fate of President Trump's account was eventually decided via a Twitter poll, which consisted of the words "Reinstate former President Trump" and two options — yes or no. Musk replied to the poll with the words "Vox Populi, Vox Dei," which roughly translates to "the voice of the people is the voice of God." The unban Trump side of the pole took a large lead early on, but that was gradually whittled away over the 24 hours the pole was live. In the end, the "yes" side won, but by a narrow margin. Over 15 million people voted, with 51.8% opting to unban the businessman-turned-politician. Shortly after the poll closed, Musk announced that Trump would be unbanned. Although he has his account back, the former President has yet to make a return tweet. Trump has stated that he has no intentions to go back to Twitter, and is opting to remain on his own platform, Truth Social.
Should Twitter offer a general amnesty to suspended accounts, provided that they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 23, 2022
Trump's unbanning may be good news for other people whose accounts are suspended. Musk has again taken to Twitter and asked "Should Twitter offer a general amnesty to suspended accounts, provided that they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam?" With over 1.3 million votes in, the "yes" side again has a hefty lead. Though there are over 21 hours still to go. If the Trump poll is anything to go by, Musk is serious and there will be a mass unbanning should the "yes" side win. The Trump poll may also indicate there are still millions of votes yet to be registered, so despite yes's lead — this could still go either way.