Your tormentors will return • The Register

Twitter CEO Elon Musk has decided to reinstate banned accounts on the microblogging service.

Musk used the same process to make that decision as he did when restoring access to a Florida man who once held high electoral office in the US — a totally unscientific and easily manipulated poll of Twitter users.

The phrase Musk uses at the end of the above tweet — “Vox Populi, Vox Dei” — translated from Latin means “voice of the people, voice of God.” It is a quote from Machiavelli that is a warning in context versus Listening to people saying, “The voice of the people is the voice of God.”

Machiavelli thought the voice of the people tended towards madness. It’s like he saw social media coming.

The amnesty comes despite Musk previously promising to form a Content Moderation Council before making a decision on restoring accounts.

Musk appears to have reversed that decision earlier this week when he weighed the following in a free speech thread on Twitter:

twitters definition abusive behavior includes:

  • An attempt to harass, intimidate, or silence the voice of another;
  • Threats of violence or “wanting, hoping or invoking serious harm”;
  • unwanted sexual advances;
  • Use of abusive language, profanity, or abusive language intended to harass or intimidate others;
  • encouraging or soliciting others to harass any individual or group of people;
  • Mass casualty events took place.

Account suspension is Twitter’s ultimate sanction and will only be applied after other disciplinary action.

Operators of blocked accounts were therefore usually already disciplined, but continued to insult other Twitter members.

Those members who suffered abuse are now informed that their abusers will return. And they’re returning to Twitter with a greatly reduced staff to respond to more allegations of abuse and a CEO who has shown indifference to their potential affliction.

Twitter has billions of dollars in debt to service but is running at a loss. Musk has reportedly said that bankruptcy is a real possibility if the service cannot improve its financial position. Users are abandoning the site and advertisers are nervous about brand safety. The CEO hasn’t said how he thinks getting known perpetrators back on the platform will help. ® Your tormentors will return • The Register

Rick Schindler

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