Elon Musk says banned Twitter users won't be allowed back 'for weeks'

The social media platform's new chief executive has confirmed a content moderation council will be formed

Elon Musk says Twitter will not allow anyone who was kicked off the site to return until it sets up procedures on how to do that. AFP
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New Twitter owner and chief executive Elon Musk has indicated that banned users won't be allowed back on the social media platform for “at least a few more weeks”.

That means those who have been banned — for offences such as harassment, violence or election and Covid-related misinformation — will not be able to return before next Tuesday’s US midterm elections.

“Twitter will not allow anyone who was de-platformed for violating Twitter rules back on platform until we have a clear process for doing so, which will take at least a few more weeks,” Mr Musk tweeted.

“Twitter's content moderation council will include representatives with widely divergent views, which will certainly include the civil rights community and groups who face hate-fuelled violence.”

He said it was “absolutely agreed that the Twitter safety board should have people from all viewpoints”, and that he had talked to civil society leaders about how Twitter would continue to combat hate and harassment and enforce its election integrity policies.

Mr Musk, the world's richest person, completed his purchase of the social media platform last week for $44 billion.

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He has since set about making changes to the way the platform operates, including revising the way it verifies users who have a blue tick. He has tweeted that users will have to pay an $8 monthly fee for the blue tick on their account.

Meanwhile, Mr Musk plans to eliminate about 3,700 jobs at Twitter, or half of the social media company’s workforce, according to a report by Bloomberg.

The jobs situation at Twitter has been the subject of a number of different reports since Mr Musk's takeover. The potential figure for job losses has swayed between 25 per cent and 75 per cent.

Twitter had earlier told staff that there are no plans for company-wide layoffs.

Mr Musk removed much of the top executive team, including chief executive Parag Agrawal, finance chief Ned Segal and senior legal staffers Vijaya Gadde and Sean Edgett.

In the days that followed, other departures have included chief marketing officer Leslie Berland, chief customer officer Sarah Personette, and Jean-Philippe Maheu, who was vice president of global client solutions.

Twitter aims to start selling blue verification badges for user profiles as soon as next week, Bloomberg reported.

“I will explain the rationale in longer form before this is implemented. It is the only way to defeat the bots & trolls,” Mr Musk said.

He said the current set-up was similar to a “lords and peasants system”, adding that users who pay $8 a month would also receive other perks such as “half as many ads” and “priority in replies, mentions & search”.

Esther Crawford, director of product management at Twitter, commented on an image posted of her sleeping on the floor of the company office, with the message “When your team is pushing round the clock to make deadlines sometimes you #SleepWhereYouWork”.

Updated: November 03, 2022, 9:17 AM
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