Musk, a longtime self-described “free speech absolutist,” said in May that he would reverse Trump’s permanent Twitter ban and allow him to return to the social network. But Musk paused changes to Twitter’s content rules after completing the acquisition.
Late last month, he said Twitter had formed a content moderation council to handle major content decisions on the platform and would not take any action regarding account reinstatement “before that council convenes.” A council was not formed. Then on Friday, Musk tweeted that he would allow some people whose Twitter accounts were banned, including comedian Kathy Griffin and author and psychologist Jordan Peterson, to return to the platform.
Alex Stamos, director of the Stanford Internet Observatory, said Musk, who has been complaining about Twitter’s problems with bot accounts for months, said the bots voted to decide the issues, and then the results. Suppose that “reflects some sort of legitimate ‘people’s voice’.”
“It is definitely possible for a small group of people to create a large number of accounts to operate features such as voting,” he added.
Trump’s Twitter resurgence immediately sparked concern from misinformation experts and others. The former president used Twitter as a megaphone during his presidency to praise, kajol, lobby, and propose his version of events. He often spread inaccurate information and occasionally announced policies on his Twitter before his own staff were notified. Ahead of the 2020 presidential election, Trump also tweeted comments that cast doubt on the integrity of the vote.
If Trump returns to the same kind of content he shared on Truth Social, he could turn Twitter into a “hotbed of hate, harassment and incitement,” said Harvard’s Shorenstein. said Joanne Donovan, director of research at the Center on Media Politics. Public policy studies the spread of misinformation.
If Trump returns to Twitter, he could reach a much wider and more influential audience than he does now, which could also boost his personal brand, she said.