Now that Elon Musk has let us know that he’s totally done with his moderation council myth, he’s put up a new poll asking users if he should let most suspended accounts back onto the site. On Wednesday, he asked: “Should Twitter offer a general amnesty to suspended accounts, provided that they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam?” He gave users 24 hours to vote, and so far, “yes” is ahead by a wide margin.
Musk previously ran a poll asking whether he should allow former president Donald Trump back onto the site, with the “yes” responses winning out by a relatively narrow margin. The general amnesty poll has been up for less than an hour, so it’s too soon to tell how it’ll shake out.
Shortly after taking ownership of Twitter, Musk said that Twitter would set up a council to make decisions on who should be allowed back onto the platform. That idea has since been binned, and it seems that Musk is now willing to make sweeping changes based largely on his own opinion. It’s hard to even comprehend how big of a change rolling back a decade-plus of moderation decisions is — especially given that Twitter’s main product is content moderation.
Musk’s poll doesn’t have details on when this change will happen, if it does at all. According to his vision for the platform, it theoretically shouldn’t matter if the site is flooded with bad actors. He’s said before that he wants negative and hate tweets to basically be invisible unless you’re actually seeking them out. However, that would still require moderators to report those accounts properly, and Twitter’s trust and safety teams were hit hard by layoffs. Musk may also plan on leaning more heavily on Twitter Blue verification, though we’ve seen some ways that can be abused, and it’s currently not out.
Musk has given at least some exceptions to his free speech policies before. For example, he’s said that Alex Jones wouldn’t be allowed on the platform. We’d ask Twitter more about how its “general amnesty” would work, but it no longer has a communications team.