New Chief Twit Elon Musk announced Friday that he will be allowing some content moderation to happen at Twitter after all — but it won't be staff doing it, it will be an independent "content moderation council" like Facebook has. And he says that no account reinstatements are happening just yet — but Ye is already back.
Elon Musk tweeted a bunch of stuff today, which is I guess the first official day of his tenure as overlord and master at Twitter Inc.
To the shock of many, including us, Musk announced that there would be a "content moderation council" set up — but the description of it having "with widely diverse viewpoints" is a little worrying, because we don't need Lauren Boebert on there or any of her ilk. "No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes," Musk added.
Twitter will be forming a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 28, 2022
No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes.
Facebook took many years and not a few PR mishaps to come around to creating its Oversight Board in 2020, with its first batch of "rulings" on tricky content moderation questions coming in early 2021. In May 2021, the Oversight Board ruled that permanent bans should not allowed, and Facebook then came back with a decision to allow Donald Trump to have his account back after a two-year suspension — so, in January 2023. But Trump could be suspended again if the Board deems him an ongoing threat to democracy.
Anyhow, this answers the question of how quickly Musk plans to let Trump back on Twitter — and it answers the question of whether Musk truly believed that Twitter could exist with no guardrails or moderation. And how does this even square with his tweet just yesterday saying "the bird is freed"? Is it really "freed" if there's going to be a content oversight board? Maybe he's just been trolling us all along.
Or, maybe this idea for a content moderation council came out of the meetings Musk has had with actual Twitter staffers this week.
In related news, Ye a.k.a. Kanye West has had his Twitter account restored, shortly after getting his Instagram restored.
Someone pointed out to Musk that Ye, after some fairly insane antisemitic posts last week, already had his account restored despite Musk saying that no restorations would take place yet. And Musk replied, "Ye’s account was restored by Twitter before the acquisition [was finalized]. They did not consult with or inform me.”
Musk also delighted today in the media coverage of two pranksters who posed as laid off data engineers, holding boxes outside Twitter HQ like they'd just been fired and had packed their things. The names they gave were "Rahul Ligma" and "Daniel Johnson" — and Musk likes the dick joke, "ligma johnson." ABC 7, CNBC, and Bloomberg all apparently fell for it.
Top image: The Twitter logo is displayed on the exterior of Twitter headquarters on October 26, 2022 in San Francisco, California. Elon Musk has reportedly visited Twitter headquarters in San Francisco ahead of the Friday deadline to complete his $44 billion deal to purchase the social media company. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)