NEW YORK — Elon Musk said Wednesday that Twitter will not allow anyone who has been kicked from the site to return until it has established procedures for how to do so, a process that will take at least a few weeks.
That would mean people banned from the site for violating Twitter’s rules on harassment, violence, or election and COVID-related misinformation won’t be able to return before next Tuesday’s U.S. midterm elections.
The commitment came after Musk, who took control of the social media site last week after buying it for $44 billion, said in a tweet that he had met with a handful of civil society leaders “about it , how Twitter will continue to fight hate & harassment & enforce its election integrity policies.”
Attendees at Tuesday’s meeting asked Musk not to restore the suspended users before the midterms, said Jessica González, an attorney and co-CEO of advocacy group Free Press, who attended the meeting.
Participants — including leaders from the NAACP, the Anti-Defamation League and Color of Change — also urged Twitter to implement a transparent process for account recovery. Musk has said publicly that he would let former President Donald Trump back on the site, although Trump – who routinely promotes his own platform Truth Social – has given no indication as to whether he will return.
González said attendees also called on Twitter to enforce election integrity measures that are already in place and encouraged him to hear from a wide range of people — particularly ethnic minorities and those affected by hate and harassment campaigns.
“He agreed to all of these things when we met, but actions speak louder than words,” González said. “I’ve had a lot of meetings with tech CEOs. And I’ve been made a lot of empty promises. And with Elon Musk in particular, he has proven inconsistent, saying one thing one day and the other the next. So we intend to hold him accountable for those promises and more.”
For its part, the NAACP said in a statement it had expressed concern to Musk about “the dangerous, life-threatening hatred and conspiracies that have proliferated on Twitter” under his oversight. Citing a report of a surge in hate speech on Twitter in the hours after Musk’s acquisition, the organization said failure to act “will put lives at risk and further unravel our democracy.” It also said any account perpetuating misinformation about elections should not be allowed on the platform.
“As long as hate, misinformation and disinformation spreads through Twitter, the bird cannot be free,” the organization said. After Musk took over Twitter last week, he tweeted “The bird is freed,” a nod to the site’s logo. In a separate letter to Musk on Tuesday, the NAACP, along with the National Urban League and the National Action Network, said they were alarmed by the rise of racial and religious hatred on Twitter and accused the billionaire of unknowingly unleashing “the worst of humanity.” have nature.”
Musk said last week he would not make any major decisions about content or restore banned accounts before establishing a “Content Moderation Council” with differing viewpoints. He reiterated that point Wednesday, adding that the advice he is putting together “will include the civil rights community and groups facing hateful violence.”
No group representing the LGBTQ community was present during Tuesday’s meeting, and Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether Musk plans to meet with one. Tesla’s billionaire CEO has said in the past that he supports transgender people but has criticized the use of different pronouns. In a tweet this summer, referring to Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson, who was banned from his account after a post about transgender actor Elliot Page apparently violating Twitter’s rules, Musk said the platform was going “much too far to suppress dissenting opinions”.
A spokesman for advocacy group GLAAD said the group remains in communication with Twitter and expects to continue providing feedback and research on LGBTQ safety on the site, as with every other leading platform.
Twitter and other social media platforms have long been awash with misinformation about voting and elections and the COVID-19 vaccine. The platform is maintaining its misinformation labels for midterms 2022 and is attempting to debunk tweets containing misinformation with links to credible information.
In part of Tuesday’s meeting, González said the group told Musk – who published and deleted an article over the weekend that contained misleading claims about the attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband – that he set the tone for had to state what he was expecting on the platform.
Some of the groups at the meeting were part of a coalition that on Tuesday sent an open letter to top Twitter advertisers, urging them to commit to stopping advertising on the site if Twitter, under Musk, meets community standards and moderation of content. In his own open letter to advertisers, Twitter’s main source of income, Musk said last week that he would not let the site become a “hellscape for all” in his bid to promote freedom of expression.
Meanwhile, David Cruz, the national director of the League of United Latin American Citizens, said Sindy Benavides, who appeared to be representing the Hispanic civil rights organization at the meeting, was not a member of the organization. In an email, Cruz called Benavides “a renegade, formerly respected leader who has decided to put herself above the organization that trusts her.”
Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
https://6abc.com/elon-musk-twitter-people-banned-from-misinformation/12409393/ Elon Musk: People banned from Twitter won’t have accounts restored for weeks, he says