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‘Free speech’ has its price for Elon Musk as Donald Trump invited back to Twitter

Kanye West, Donald Trump and Andrew Tate are allowed back on Twitter.

Kanye West, Donald Trump and Andrew Tate are allowed back on Twitter. Photo: Getty

Elon Musk has reinstated Donald Trump’s Twitter account and the likes of Kanye West and Andrew Tate are back on the platform.

In the early days of Mr Musk’s Twitter takeover, he said no account reinstatements would happen until a “content moderation council” convened.

It’s unclear if such a council ever met, but the former president of the US is back on the platform, after Mr Musk held a poll.

There were more than 15 million votes and those in favour of having Mr Trump reinstated won by a slim majority.

“The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated. Vox Populi, Vox Dei (the voice of the people [is] the voice of God),” Mr Musk said.

However, Mr Trump, who was banned from Twitter for inspiring an insurrection, isn’t the only person who is back on the platform after being barred from posting.

Kanye West, Andrew Tate and Jordan Peterson are all back online.

Associate Professor Diana Bossio from Swinburne University told The New Daily the reinstatements were not surprising.

“Completely unsurprising, but, you know, kind of sad,” she said.

“Sad and bad for a platform that has largely been created for and by its users. This is a really great example of how ownership can completely transform a culture.”

Pictured is Elon Musk

‘Free speech absolutist’ Elon Musk has reinstated Donald Trump’s Twitter account.

Elon Musk’s first priority

Mr Musk is a self-proclaimed “free speech absolutist”; however, when it comes to Twitter, it’s not free speech he is focused on, Professor Bossio said.

“His first and primary goal at the moment is not moderation, it’s not regulation and despite what he says, it’s probably not even free speech.”

Given Mr Musk has to make repayments that will cost him billions, profit is most likely his primary goal at the moment.

Professor Bossio said Mr Musk has a “technocratic” view of free speech and believes if the technology is there and right, free speech will flourish.

However, people who actually study social media, like Professor Bossio, know this is not the case.

“I think when Musk talks about free speech, he’s not talking about the people we think should have free speech, he’s talking about people who would otherwise have enormous platforms but are in fact, being held responsible for the consequences of their speech,” she said.

Professor Bossio had previously told The New Daily it’s not celebrities or billionaires who are at risk of having their right to free speech ripped away from them – it is minorities.

Will Donald Trump return?

In the wake of the insurrection on January 6, Twitter handed Mr Trump a permanent suspension. Other social platforms also barred him.

Twitter said a few of Mr Trump’s tweets were a violation of the Glorification of Violence Policy.

In a post outlining why the former president was being banned, the company said there were concerns Mr Trump could use his platform to incite more violence.

Mr Trump recently announced he would run for president again in 2024.

Pictured is Donald Trump and wife Melania

Donald Trump is running for president again.

For now, it seems as though he won’t be returning to Twitter, and will favour his own platform, Truth Social.

Speaking in Las Vegas at the Republican Jewish Coalition meeting, Mr Trump said Twitter had “a lot of problems”.

“It may make it, it may not make it,” he said, according to CNN. Though the former president said he “liked” that Mr Musk purchased Twitter.

“He’s a character and I tend to like characters,” he said, adding that Mr Musk was “smart”.

Ye, formerly know as Kanye West, was banned from Twitter only recently, after a tirade of anti-Semitic posts.

The rapper already ran a test to see if his account was alive and then tweeted “Shalom”, along with a smiley face.

Andrew Tate, a former reality star and kickboxer, has had a number of Twitter accounts over the years and the first was banned back in 2017, when he suggested rape victims should “bear some responsibility”.

Just like Mr Tate, Jordan Peterson, has also been actively tweeting since being reinstated.

Elon Musk ‘not serious’ about safeguarding Twitter

Many people are not happy about Mr Trump’s account being reinstated.

Among the critics is Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti Defamation League (ADL), who said the move showed Mr Musk was not serious about “safeguarding the platform from hate, harassment and misinformation”.

“As we’ve said before, Trump used Twitter to foment intolerance, issue threats and incite a violent attack against the US government,” Mr Greenblatt said.

“Moreover, he has shown no indication that he would do anything different if given the opportunity.”

He said when Mr Musk met with the ADL and other Stop Hate for Profit leaders earlier this month he committed to not replatform anyone, until he installed a “transparent, clear process that took into consideration the views of civil society”.

“Hey stop defaming me!” Mr Musk said in response.

Professor Bossio said if Twitter users want change, governments will need to step in and bring about regulations.
Platforms such as Twitter are global, but they still have to abide by the law of the land, she said.
It’s too soon to say what the fate of Twitter will be in Mr Musk’s hands and whether reinstating these accounts will turn the platform into a nightmare, she said.
If Twitter isn’t a place you want to be anymore, then she says the solution is simple. Log off.
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