Elon Musk Says Twitter Shadowbans Are the New Law of

Image of Elon Musk surrounded by blue checkmarks

Elon Musk is now Twitter’s choose, jury, and executioner—with full leeway to enact his model of “free speech” on the flailing platform.
Image: Gizmodo

Things are actually going off the rails at Twitter, as Elon Musk pushes ahead in a hostile takeover that appears liable to make sure he’s eventually the only one left on the social media platform. In the most recent set of deeply complicated declarations from the multi-CEO and “Chief Twit,” Musk reinstated Twitter accounts for the right-wing “parody” outlet the Babylon Bee, Jordan Peterson, and Kathy Griffin.

Musk introduced the reinstatements after a cryptic post merely saying “Freedom Fridays.” He additionally paired the information with a complicated rationalization of how content material moderation on Twitter will supposedly function transferring ahead. “New Twitter coverage is freedom of speech, however not freedom of attain,” he wrote. “Negative/hate tweets will likely be max deboosted & demonetized, so no adverts or different income to Twitter.”

Note: the beneath Tweet misspells Kathy Griffin’s title.

Screenshot of tweets

Musk didn’t un-ban Donald Trump, writing a “resolution has not but been made” about whether or not or to not enable the previous poster-in-chief again on the location. He additionally mentioned he would not allow conspiracy theorist Alex Jones again on the platform, in one other tweet trade. Though, like all of Musk’s guarantees—who is aware of how lengthy it should final.

The sudden Twitter ban reversals beg the query: What occurred to Musk’s beforehand introduced plan to deal with reinstatements? Less than a month in the past, the world’s richest man tweeted that, beneath his management, Twitter would kind and depend on a “content material moderation council.” “No main content material choices or account reinstatements will occur earlier than that council convenes,” he wrote in an Oct. 28 post.

Screenshot of Twitter

Yet seemingly, Freedom Friday went ahead with no such council in place. And it’s abundantly possible that there simply aren’t enough staff left at Twitter to compose one. Initial layoffs slashed about 50% of the corporate, and extra engineers and execs have fled since.

Among different questions that Gizmodo had associated to Friday’s announcement:

  • What is a “damaging tweet?”
  • Who decides that?
  • Who (or what algorithm) will likely be monitoring for these “damaging tweets” to “deboost” them—and the way?
  • Will there be an official shadowban council?

Gizmodo additionally isn’t certain, precisely, how single tweets could be “demonetized.” Twitter doesn’t make cash straight off of particular person tweets, however relatively paid posts by advertisers (and, uh, Twitter Blue subscribers). Unless Musk is speaking about disallowing offensive adverts (which presumably already aren’t allowed), that is seemingly simply phrase salad, devoid of any precise purposeful coverage shift.

Unfortunately, although Gizmodo has reached out with all the above inquiries to Twitter’s press account, we don’t anticipate to obtain a response. Since Musk’s buy of the corporate was finalized, Twitter has not been responding to our press inquiries. Press contacts from different firms run by Musk, like SpaceX and Tesla, are additionally notoriously troublesome for media to achieve.

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