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Elon Musk Says He Will Reinstate Suspended Twitter Accounts

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Elon Musk

said he would reinstate suspended accounts on Twitter Inc.’s social-media platform, bringing back users that previously had been banned for posting hate speech, inciting violence or engaging in other behavior that violated its policies.

Mr. Musk said Thursday the amnesty would begin next week, provided the accounts haven’t “broken the law or engaged in egregious spam.” He made the decision after polling users on the platform. “Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” he tweeted, a Latin phrase meaning the voice of the people is the voice of God.

Since Mr. Musk took over Twitter, the social network has reinstated several high-profile accounts, including those belonging to former President

Donald Trump,

rapper

Kanye West

and comedian

Kathy Griffin.

However, Mr. Musk also recently tweeted that he wouldn’t reinstate the account of conspiracy theorist

Alex Jones.

It was unclear how many other accounts would be reinstated.

Mr. Musk has described himself as a free-speech absolutist and has said Twitter generally should intervene only to comply with local laws. Since Mr. Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion last month, he has made broad changes at the company—slashing its staff, charging users for Twitter’s “verified” check marks and revamping the platform’s content moderation.

Before Mr. Musk took over Twitter, the company banned or suspended accounts for behaviors such as stalking, racist name-calling and doxing—a form of harassment in which the harasser publishes private or identifying information about someone on the internet.

The Twitter poll that Mr. Musk started on Wednesday recorded 72.4% of votes in favor of reinstating suspended accounts and 27.6% against. The poll tallied more than three million votes.

After taking over Twitter, Mr. Musk said the company would be “forming a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints.” He added: “No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes.”

Mr. Musk hasn’t said publicly if the council has met or been established.

Write to Jennifer Maloney at [email protected]

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