Twitter has announced that beginning February 1, users will be able to appeal account suspensions and be examined under the social media platform’s new criteria for reinstatement. In the future, the platform has stated that it will take “less severe action” against accounts and reserve suspensions for “serious” or “repeat” violations of its regulations.
Last December, the firm stated that it had found several policies where permanent suspension was a “disproportionate response” for violating Twitter rules. It subsequently began restoring accounts that had been suspended for violating these regulations.
It noted on Friday that it does not reinstate accounts that participated in criminal conduct, threats of injury or violence, large-scale spam and platform manipulation, or where there had been no recent appeal to reinstate the account.
“Going forward, we will take less severe actions, such as limiting the reach of policy-violating Tweets or asking you to remove Tweets before you can continue using your account. Account suspension will be reserved for severe or ongoing, repeat violations of our policies,” Twitter said.
Severe violations include, but are not limited to, engaging in illegal content or behaviour, inciting or threatening violence or injury, violating privacy, manipulating or spamming our platforms, and harassing our users.
Since Elon Musk took over the firm last October, Twitter has been on a roller coaster ride in terms of account suspensions and reinstatements. In November, the platform reopened Donald Trump’s account based on Musk’s poll, in which users on the social media platform voted – by a small majority — to overturn a ban placed on the former US president more than a year ago.
Despite Musk’s earlier insistence that the business will form a content moderation council and that “no major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes,” Trump was re-platformed on Twitter via a user poll. It is still unknown whether the council has been created.
Rapper Kanye West, who had his account suspended after making anti-Semitic comments, got it restored about the same time that Musk acquired control of Twitter in October. But in December, his account was once more suspended for breaking the terms of service, which forbade inciting violence.
Last December, Twitter banned the accounts of several well-known American journalists from publications like the New York Times, the Washington Post, and CNN for publishing open-source information about the billionaire’s aircraft. This was part of a day marked by widespread account suspensions and abrupt U-turns. Musk asked for user input on whether to reinstate the journalists’ accounts on Twitter a few hours after the ban, and he did so after over 59% of respondents voted.