Elon Musk, in the midst of a self-inflicted crisis after hundreds of Twitter employees quit following his demand that they commit to “hard-core” labor at the company, found time to forgive comedian Kathy Griffin for the crime of impersonating her tycoon technology.
Griffin was suspended from Twitter in early November after she changed her account name to “Elon Musk” and used his photo for her profile. Griffin took over the Twitter account of Maggie Griffin, her late mother, after the ban and continued to troll Musk. This Friday he responded from this account, “Dear Eilon. You did it, you fool. I go down to the basement of my heads. Your turn. Xxoo, The Beheader.”
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As for whether or not he’ll let Donald Trump back on Twitter, Musk said “no decision has been made yet.” Trump was permanently banned from Twitter and other major online platforms in early 2021 for his posts supporting the January 6 rioters who attacked the US Capitol.
Musk has accused Twitter of censoring conservatives and has previously said he would reverse Trump’s permanent Twitter ban, calling it a “morally bad decision.” Trump has previously insisted he won’t rejoin Twitter, regardless of who owns it, in favor of sticking to his own (ironically named) Truth Social, a highly disappointing Twitter feed.
In addition to reinstating Griffin — whose first name he misspelled as “Kathy” — Musk also said author Jordan Peterson (whose name was misspelled as “Jordan”) and satire site Babylon Bee had their Twitter accounts restored. .
Peterson, a right-wing Canadian psychologist, was suspended in June 2022 under Twitter’s rules against hate speech after he tweeted: “Remember when pride was a sin?” He then called out Elliot Page, the actor who in 2020 announced that he is transgender, and said that Page’s “breasts [were] taken away by a criminal doctor.’
In March 2022, Twitter suspended the right-wing Babylon Bee, also under the company’s policy on “hateful behavior,” after the publication announced that it had chosen Dr. Rachel Levine, a transgender woman who is the US Assistant Secretary of Health, as “Man of the Year.” The site bills itself as “your trusted source for Christian news satire.”
In response to a Twitter user who urged Musk to “bring back Alex Jones,” the conspiracy theorist who has been ordered to pay nearly $1.5 billion to the families of the victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting, Musk he answered“No.”
Musk, shortly after closing his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter on Oct. 27, said the company would create a content oversight board with “very diverse views” and that “no major content decisions or account resets will be made before the convening of this council”. It is not clear whether such a council was created.
Upon closing the deal with Twitter, Musk fired the senior management team and laid off 50% of its 7,500 employees. On Thursday, more than 1,200 employees quit because of Musk’s “hardline” work ethic, the New York Times reported. That would leave about 2,500 employees, about a third of the previous headcount.
In a thread on Friday, Musk said Twitter’s new policy ensures “freedom of speech, but not freedom of outreach.”
According to Twitter’s CEO, this means “negative/hateful tweets will be de-amplified and mined, so no advertising or other revenue on 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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