Elon Musk issued a 24-hour poll on Friday evening that asks Twitter users to decide whether to reinstate former President Trump. The poll was issued just hours after the new Twitter boss unbanned a number of high-profile users, including Jordan Peterson, The Babylon Bee and the recently barred Kathy Griffin.
When asked whether former President Trump’s Twitter account would be reinstated, “Chief Twit” said that a decision had not yet been made. Musk previously stated that Trump would have his Twitter privileges restored.
Musk on Friday provided updates on the company’s updated policy on “hate tweets,” vowing that such tweets would be demonetized and “de-boosted.”
The new CEO has hinted that the process of “de-boosting” could function like a downvote system, where users can provide feedback on individual tweets. Such tweets would have their reach and visibility disabled or limited, drawing comparisons to the oft-criticized policy of shadow banning.
Musk has styled himself as a “free speech absolutist” and has criticized the policy of shadow banning in the past.
In addition to the update on “hate tweets,” a number of previously banned users were reinstated. Among the returning users were Jordan Peterson, The Babylon Bee and Kathy Griffin, the latter of which was recently banned earlier this month after impersonating the new CEO.
When asked if Alex Jones would be unbanned, Musk said no, again prompting questions on his commitment to free speech absolutism. Musk also opted not to provide a concrete answer on whether former President Trump would be reinstated on Twitter after he was barred by the recently fired recently fired former head of Twitter’s trust & safety Vijaya Gadde.
Musk has previously promised that Trump would be allowed to return to Twitter.
New Twitter policy is freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach.
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.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 18, 2022
A few hours later, Musk posed a yes-or-no Twitter poll to his 116 million followers in which users were asked to decide whether Trump should be reinstated. The poll — which was posted at 7:47 pm, eastern time on Friday — has already garnered 2,965,980 votes a little under two hours into its 24-hour voting period.
“Yes” currently leads with a little over 57% of the vote, though that number has declined from 65% shortly after the poll was posted.
“Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk wrote in a follow-up tweet. The Latin phrase translates to, “the voice of the people (is) the voice of God.”
It is unclear whether the results of the poll will reflect Musk’s final decision on the matter, as he has previously stated his intention to reinstate Trump on Twitter. Regardless of the outcome or significance of said result, the poll has the potential to be the most-voted-on in the history of Twitter.
Reinstate former President Trump
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 19, 2022