Elon Musk, in the midst of a self-inflicted crisis after hundreds of Twitter employees quit following his demand that they “hardcore” to the company, found the time to pardon comedian Kathy Griffin for the crime of impersonating the tech tycoon .
Griffin was suspended from Twitter in early November after changing her account name to “Elon Musk” and using his photo for her profile. Griffin took over the Twitter account of Maggie Griffin, her late mother, after she was banned and continued to troll Musk. She on Friday responded from that account: “Dear Eilon. You screwed up, idiot. I go down to my basement of heads. It’s your turn. Xxoo, the beheader.”
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As to whether or not to allow Donald Trump on Twitter, Musk said, “no decision has been made yet”. Trump was permanently banned from Twitter and other mainstream internet platforms in early 2021 for his posts in support of the January 6 rioters who attacked the US Capitol.
Musk has accused Twitter of censoring conservatives and has previously said he would overturn Twitter’s permanent ban on Trump, calling it a “morally bad decision.” Trump has previously insisted that he would not rejoin Twitter, no matter who owns it, to stick with his own (ironically named) Truth Social, a Twitter knockoff.
In addition to reinstating Griffin — whose first name he misspelled as “Kathie” — Musk also said that the Twitter accounts of author Jordan Peterson (whom he misspelled as “Jorden”) and satire site Babylon Bee had their Twitter accounts have recovered.
Peterson, a right-wing Canadian psychologist, was suspended in June 2022 under Twitter’s rules prohibiting hateful conduct after he tweeted, “Remember when pride was a sin?” He then called Elliot Page, the actor who announced he was transgender in 2020, dead and said Page’s “boobs [were] removed by a criminal doctor.”
In March 2022, Twitter suspended the right-wing Babylon Bee, also under the company’s “hateful conduct” policy, after the publication announced it was killing Dr. Rachel Levine, a transgender woman who is the US Deputy Secretary of Health, had been selected as her “Man of the Year.” The website bills itself as “your trusted source for Christian news satire”.
In response to a Twitter user urging Musk to “bring back Alex Jones,” the conspiracy monger ordered to pay nearly $1.5 billion to families of victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting, Musk replied“No.”
Shortly after closing its $44 billion acquisition of Twitter on Oct. 27, Musk said the company would create a content moderation board with “widely diverse points of view” and that “no major content decisions or account recovery will take place until those council meets.” It is unclear whether such a council has been formed.
After completing the Twitter deal, Musk fired the senior management team and laid off 50% of his 7,500 employees. On Thursday, more than 1,200 employees resigned over Musk’s “hardcore” work fiat, the New York Times reported. That would leave about 2,500 staff, about a third of the previous workforce.
In a thread on Friday, Musk said Twitter’s new policy “guarantees freedom of speech, but not freedom of expression.”
According to Twitter’s CEO, this means “negative/hate tweets are deboosted and demonetized to the maximum, so no ads or other revenue for Twitter.” He added, “You won’t find the tweet unless you specifically look for it, which is no different than the rest of the internet.”
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