Elon Musk reinstates Jordan Peterson and Andrew Tate on Twitter, runs a poll asking people to vote over Donald Trump
Updated, November 19: Late yesterday, Elon Musk opened a Twitter poll asking users whether he should allow disgraced former President Donald Trump back on the platform (read below for context).
Reinstate former President Trump— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 19, 2022
At the time of writing, the poll has over 40% majority votes for ‘yes’.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was one of many to slam running a vote, with the following tweets:
The bipartisan @January6thCmte has extensively covered how Trump’s use of Twitter played a critical role in the violence of that day.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 19, 2022
Review their extensive work & ask yourself why a billionaire is toying w/ bringing back the person responsible for this: pic.twitter.com/1GnvuXs4AN
Meanwhile, Andrew Tate – who this year was blocked on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube – has been allowed back to the platform under Musk’s reign.
Tate had been removed for breaking rules on “content that attacks, threatens, incites violence against, or otherwise dehumanizes an individual or a group.” Read more about Andrew Tate by clicking here.
Since controversial billionaire Elon Musk announced he would be buying Twitter, the big concern for many has been that he may reinstate some accounts fronted by people who were removed from the platform for good reason – because they used it to spew hate and dangerous rhetoric.
Well, it has begun.
The Twitter takeover has obviously been an absurd shambles (we’ll get to that in a moment), but today (November 18) Musk confirmed the reinstatement of some previously banned accounts.
Kathy Griffin, who was removed for “impersonating” Elon, has been reinstated.
So too have Jordan Peterson and conservative comedy site Babylon Bee, as Musk tweeted that the “New Twitter policy is freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach.”
Adding: “Negative/hate tweets will be max deboosted & demonetized, so no ads or other revenue to Twitter. You won’t find the tweet unless you specifically seek it out, which is no different from rest of Internet.”
Note, this applies just to the individual tweet, not the whole account
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 18, 2022
Anti-trans psychologist Jordan Peterson – who coincidently won the praise of footballer Christiano Ronaldo this week, after the footballer called him “a fantastic man” – had previously been removed from the platform, following a series of transphobic tweets which included deadnaming Elliot Page among other sprinklings of obnoxious commentary.
It is worth noting at this point, Musk himself has a trans daughter, who earlier this year changed her name legally and cut ties with her father.
But that doesn’t seem to matter. Peterson celebrated the win with a tweet thanking Elon.
I’m back. Thanks @elonmusk pic.twitter.com/MnWWNDACGD
— Dr Jordan B Peterson (@jordanbpeterson) November 18, 2022
Musk, who has previously described himself as a “free speech absolutist”, also reinstated conservative satire account Babylon Bee (sort of like a a right-wing version of The Onion).
The Christian conservative account was suspended in March this year, after it tweeted, “The Babylon Bee’s Man of the Year is Rachel Levine,” referring to the US Assistant Health Secretary, who is a trans woman.
Twitter subsequently suspended the account, stating the misgendering was in violation of its hateful conduct policy.
Babylon Bee’s CEO Seth Dillon said at the time, “We’re not deleting anything. Truth is not hate speech. If the cost of telling the truth is the loss of our Twitter account, then so be it.”
Elsewhere, the big question on everyone’s lips has, of course, been former President, insurrection-inciting criminal and 2024 hopeful Donald Trump.
Musk says no decision has been made there yet – meaning it is not ruled out and he is probably testing the water.
Kathie Griffin, Jorden Peterson & Babylon Bee have been reinstated.
Trump decision has not yet been made.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 18, 2022
As Twitter descends further into chaos, last night (November 17) users across the social app feared it may just be “switched off” after its new boss told employees that the company’s office buildings will be temporarily closed, effective immediately, and would reopen on Monday.
Shortly after taking over the social app, Musk said they would be firing around 50% of the workforce.
Things started to go wrong for world’s richest man very quickly. Already a controversial figure to be in charge, hate speech on the platform immediately skyrocketed as people flocked to make transphobic, racist, antisemitic and homophobic comments.
Then, one of his biggest fu*k ups (so far), was making it so that anyone could, for $8, buy a verified badge.
The result was numerous (some very funny – the Ben Shapiro one is *French chef’s kiss*) accounts pretending to be high-profile names or brands, tweeting incredibly off-brand statements, all with verified badges – and the accounts quickly racking up thousands of followers.
This montage of real, verified tweets from verified accounts… pic.twitter.com/fSAyYH3D31
— ItsLitGayShit | GaysWhoMemeWell (@itslitgayshitt) November 18, 2022
Also under Elon’s ownership, Twitter staff were told that they had to commit to long hours and would “need to be extremely hardcore” or leave the company, according to reports from various outlets.
Washington Post reported that staff were sent an email in which they were told to agree to the pledge if they wanted to stay.
If they didn’t sign by the November 17 deadline, they would be out – with three months’ severance pay, according to Musk.
Large numbers of workers then began resigning, in protest of Musk’s new terms, and have been tweeting using the hashtag #LoveWhereYouWorked, along with a saluting emoji to show they were leaving Twitter.
In short, it has been a complete sh*t show. Punctuated rather poeticly last night (November 17), when the exterior wall of Twitter HQ was hijacked by a light projection displaying captions insulting Elon Musk, as #RIPTwitter trended worldwide.
The exterior wall of Twitter HQ has been hijacked by a new projection insulting Elon Musk, as hundreds of staff quit and #RIPTwitter trends.#Twitter #ElonMusk pic.twitter.com/mTLMOaLkOD
— Queer Insider 🏳️🌈 🏳️⚧️ (@qitweets) November 18, 2022