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Musk Says Banned Users Won't Return For Weeks, Promises Civil Rights Groups Spots On Moderation Council

Musk Met With ADL Head Jonathan Greenblatt And Other Activists

In a Twitter thread published late Tuesday evening, newly minted “Chief Twit” dashed hopes that previously de-platformed Twitter users might be allowed to return before the midterm election.

Elon Musk’s statement came in the form of a reply to Twitter’s Yoel Roth who continues to head their Safety & Integrity division. Roth has spent some time of late assuaging concerns about community standards being suddenly abandoned during the transition, assuring users that reports indicating a number of Twitter employees had been locked out of moderation tools.

“We’re still enforcing our rules at scale,” Roth said in a tweet directed at Bloomberg reporter Jackie Davalos. According to Davalos’ reporting, shortly after the social media giant changed hands, Twitter decreased the number of employees who had access to such tools from several hundred to just fifteen.

According to Roth, this is the standard operating procedure and is designed to limit insider risk such as actions from an angered rogue employee and should not be misinterpreted as a site-wide policy or enforcement change.

Musk, who also told users that he recently spoke with activists like Jessica Gonzalez, a member of an unofficial group that has proclaimed itself “The Real Facebook Oversight Board,” has vowed to include representatives from the civil rights community in Twitter’s new moderation council. He also met with executives like the Anti-Defamation League’s Jonathan Greenblatt.

It was during this conversation that Musk reiterated his previous position that banned users would not be returned to the platform until a new moderation council is able to convene.

Now, however, Musk has added that the moderation council will include groups like the ADL.

On Oct. 31, Roth provided some insight into how the company has acted on the moderation front since Musk took control. “Since Saturday, we’ve been focused on addressing the surge in hateful conduct on Twitter,” he said. According to Roth, Twitter made “measurable progress” towards reducing hate on the platform over the weekend by “removing more than 1,500 accounts and reducing impressions on this content to nearly zero.”

“Twitter’s policies haven’t changed. Hateful conduct has no place here. And we’re taking steps to put a stop to an organized effort to make people think we have,” he said on Oct. 29 two days after Musk took the helm.

Along with a consortium of private investors that include the Saudi Kingdom, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, and Andreessen Horowitz, Musk is believed to have contributed $25 billion of his personal wealth in the $44 billion deal that took Twitter private.

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