Twitter is continuing to change day by day under Elon Musk’s leadership, and now its gates have been reopened to those who were previously booted from the platform.
After Musk decided to allow several prominent figures back on Twitter who had previously been deactivated, he decided to take it one step further and asked Twitter users on Wednesday if there should be “a general amnesty.”
“Should Twitter offer a general amnesty to suspended accounts, provided that they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam?” Musk tweeted along with a “Yes” “No” poll.
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
72.4 percent voted yes and 27.6 percent voted no, tallying over 3 million votes.
So, Musk went with the popular opinion and tweeted that amnesty will begin next week.
“The people have spoken. Amnesty begins next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” he tweeted on Thursday.
The people have spoken.
Amnesty begins next week.
Vox Populi, Vox Dei.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 24, 2022
“Vox Populi, Vox Dei” is a Latin phrase that means “Voice of the people, Voice of God,” and what Musk previously used when he announced that he would let former President Donald Trump back on the platform.
Similarly, Musk tweeted a poll on Nov. 18 asking users if Trump’s account should be reactivated or not.
51.8 percent voted yes, 48.2 percent voted no.
Reinstate former President Trump
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 19, 2022
Trump’s account was reactivated on Nov. 19.
“The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated. Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk tweeted.
The people have spoken.
Trump will be reinstated.
Vox Populi, Vox Dei. https://t.co/jmkhFuyfkv
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 20, 2022
Musk has also allowed other prominent figures, like Dr. Jordan Peterson, Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, controversial social media influencer Andrew Tate, Kanye West, and others, back on Twitter.
But the reinstatement of Trump was the most significant blow that seemed to knock down the “Twitter ban” wall, despite Trump himself not seeming particularly enthused about returning.
In fact, Trump has actually yet to tweet anything since his account was unbanned. His last posted tweet is from January 2021:
To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 8, 2021
Trump also started his own social media platform and has stated his intention to remain on Truth Social and not go back to Twitter.
Once Musk reinstated someone like Trump, it logically follows that he might as well offer general amnesty and make Twitter a bit of a free for all again.
And sticking to his “Vox Populi, Vox Dei” motto, almost inevitably meant general amnesty was coming down the pipeline.
Anyone who is an actual free speech advocate should take Musk’s latest moves as wonderful news. While the usual naysayers will make the claim that giving everyone a voice is a bad thing, having a platform where ideas can fairly compete is tantamount in today’s day and age.
Though the popular poll approach may be a bit unorthodox, it should also come as no surprise seeing that Musk tried to immediately set himself up as a reasonable free speech crusader as soon as he took ownership of Twitter.
“The reason I acquired Twitter is because it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence,” Musk wrote in his seminal statement after his take over.
Dear Twitter Advertisers pic.twitter.com/GMwHmInPAS
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 27, 2022
General amnesty seems to reasonably fall into this category of Musk‘s vision.
He also did put a sensible parameter around the amnesty, noting that law-breaking and “egregious spam” accounts would not be coming back.
And many people who appreciate free speech are grateful for it.
“Thank you, Elon. Thank you for listening to the people,” one user tweeted in response to his announcement of general amnesty beginning next week.
Thank you, Elon.
Thank you for listening to the people.#BringThemBack
— ALX 🇺🇸 #BringThemBack (@alx) November 24, 2022
Unsurprisingly, not everyone is happy about Musk’s decision and some are complaining that it will turn Twitter into the Wild West.
“Good luck with the free-for-all hellscape,” one user tweeted.
Good luck with the free-for-all hellscapehttps://t.co/CNZYH3qqBs
— Don Moynihan (@donmoyn) November 25, 2022
But despite any objections and what may result from the amnesty next week, at least Musk is staying consistent with his previous vision and ideas.
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