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Musk says granting 'amnesty' to suspended Twitter accounts
AP Nov 25, 2022 13 days ago
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — New Twitter owner Elon Musk said Thursday that he is granting "amnesty” for suspended accounts, which online safety experts predict will spur a rise in harassment, hate speech and misinformation.
Reinstating banned accounts could mean bringing back the “worst offenders” including neo-Nazi trolls, people who maliciously posted intimate images of people without their consent and other accounts that repeatedly violated Twitter’s rules against hate speech, cyberstalking or harassment, said Danielle Citron, a law professor at the University of Virginia.
Citron said an “amnesty” plan goes against years of work — supported by then-Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey -- to build a platform for healthy online discourse that wouldn’t drive away average users fearful of being harassed. In most cases, Twitter only permanently suspended accounts that didn’t respond to other restrictions, such as temporary suspensions or restricted posts.
“So many people actually learn from suspensions and don’t re-violate,” Citron said. “You have to get pretty bad to get a permanent suspension.”
Another member of the Trust and Safety Council, Alex Holmes, said he is still awaiting feedback on the status of the council, which is due to meet in mid-December.
“With this latest decision, I can’t see this sitting right with the council or indeed what is left of the policy team, whose job it is to create effective policies that keep the platform safe,” Holmes said.
On Tuesday, he said he was reneging on that promise because he’d agreed to it at the insistence of “a large coalition of political-social activists groups” who later ”broke the deal” by urging that advertisers at least temporarily stop giving Twitter their business.
A https://apnews.com/article/elon-musk-twitter-inc-technology-european-union-europe-85e8b6d1fa4c860b3843600d3ebd12fb">report from the European Union published Thursday said Twitter took longer to review hateful content and removed less of it this year compared with 2021. The report was based on data collected over the spring — before Musk acquired Twitter — as part of an annual evaluation of online platforms’ compliance with the bloc’s code of conduct on disinformation. It found that Twitter assessed just over half of the notifications it received about illegal hate speech within 24 hours, down from 82% in 2021.