Sat. Nov 26th, 2022

Twitter CEO Elon Musk said Friday that no decision has yet been made on whether to reinstate Donald Trump’s suspended account, as he reinstated three other high-profile accounts that violated the social media platform’s rules.

Musk, who has faced staff revolts and user criticism as he seeks to overhaul the service and its free-speech policy, said in a tweet that the accounts of Canadian academic Jordan Peterson, right-wing satirical news site The Babylon Bee and comedian Kathy Griffin had been reinstated.

“Trump’s decision has not been made yet,” he added.

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Musk previously said no decisions will be made on reactivating banned accounts until a content moderation panel reviews the issue.

Peterson and Babylon Bee had their accounts suspended earlier this year — before Musk closed a deal to buy Twitter in October — for posting anti-transgender tweets that lampooned and mislabeled actor Elliot Page and Assistant US Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine.

Griffin was suspended shortly after Musk took over for impersonating and mocking the billionaire.

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Trump was permanently banned from Twitter after hundreds of his supporters attacked the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. The former president used the platform in the days leading up to the riots to spread false claims that the 2020 election had been “stolen” from him, including allegations of widespread voter fraud.

A tweet Trump sent as the unrest was building, blaming his Vice President Mike Pence for a lack of “courage” to overturn the election, sent rioters into a frenzy and prompted chants of “Hang Mike Pence,” according to videos released by Congress. commission investigating the attack.

At the time of his suspension, Trump’s account had more than 88 million followers.

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Trump’s return to the platform has been a possibility since Musk first offered to buy Twitter this spring. During a Financial Times conference in May, Musk called Trump’s ban “morally wrong and completely stupid” and said the move only served to embolden Trump’s supporters.

Click to play video: 'Trump lashes out at Elon Musk over voting history during rally, calls him 'bull-t' artist'

Trump lashed out at Elon Musk for his voting history during the rally, calling him a “bull-t” artist

For his part, Trump has said he will not return to Twitter even if his account is reinstated, opting to stay solely on his own platform, Truth Social.

But a return to Twitter could also be seen as necessary after Trump launched his 2024 presidential campaign on Tuesday. Twitter did not respond to questions about whether Trump’s candidacy would affect the decision to reinstate.

Trump has also been banned from Facebook and Instagram — both owned by parent company Meta — as well as Snapchat and YouTube following the Capitol attack.

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Facebook has no plans to reactivate Trump’s account because of his candidacy, the company confirmed Wednesday. But the suspension is due to be reviewed by its quasi-dependent supervisory board in January, two years after it was first imposed.

YouTube spokeswoman Ivy Choi said Wednesday that the company has no plans to lift its own suspension.

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Musk’s comment about Trump and his reinstatement of the other three accounts came as he announced a new content moderation policy that he said would allow “freedom of speech” but not “freedom of reach.”

With the policy, he said, “negative/hate tweets” would be “removed and demonetized” but would still remain on the platform. It would only affect individual tweets, he added later, not accounts.

Twitter already “takes down” offensive tweets and sometimes requires them to be removed. The latter tactic was applied to Peterson over his tweet about Page, but the academic doubled down and said he would “rather die” than remove the tweet – leading to his suspension.

– with files from the Associated Press

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