Since billionaire and pop culture wild-card Elon Musk has taken the reins at Twitter, it’s been all but business as usual. Between massive layoffs and revenue struggles, it’s hard to say that the company has been the better for his presence. His most recent rebranding, ditching the blue bird and simply dubbing the platform “X”, has also been met with criticism.
Musk’s latest move hasn’t drawn as much ire as his current rebrand, but it could do more damage in the long run. The owner of X chose to reinstate a right-wing account that had previously been suspended for posting images of child sexual abuse — an action Twitter’s rules say it has a “zero-tolerance policy” against.
The reason for suspension should be shown, along with ability to appeal quickly and easily. There are so many layers of software (20+ million lines) that this is much harder than it should be.
I’m told that this account was suspended for posting child exploitation pictures…
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 26, 2023
The account in question, Dom Lucre, was banned due to a post he had made three days previously. The post was about a man convicted of sexually abusing children, and it contained two screenshots of said abuse.
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In a follow-up response, Musk claimed that “only people on [Twitter’s] CSE team have seen those pictures. For now, we will delete those posts and reinstate the account.” But diligent internet sleuths quickly debunked the claim, showing that the post had accrued more than 3.1 million views, 17,000 likes, and 8,000+ retweets.
As to why the account was reinstated after flagrantly breaking Twitter’s child sex abuse rules, Musk’s reasoning seems arbitrary. For many using the app, reinstating a well-known account that frequently props up Q-Anon conspiracy theories and now child pornography is another red flag.
So to recap, a popular right-winger posted the most infamous piece of child pornography ever made, the seven people still working at twitter banned him, and then Elon personally reinstated him.
It’s just…getting very difficult to keep justifying using this site.
— Now on Threads! (@agraybee) July 27, 2023