Elon Musk now Twitter owner on Wednesday said that it will be “a few more weeks” before any banned accounts may be restored on the platform.
The twitter account of former US president Donald Trump falls into this category, as users have been watching closely to see whether Musk will reinstate Trump, who was banned last year for inciting the attack on the Capitol by a mob seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 election, and other de-platformed users.
Recall that the accounts were banned for violating the site’s content moderation rules.
Therefore the potential reinstatement of such accounts has been seen as a bellwether of where Musk, a self-described “free speech absolutist,” wants to take the site he describes as a global town square.
The South African billionaire on wednesday said the wait will have to continue a little longer.
He said, “Twitter will not allow anyone who was de-platformed for violating Twitter rules back on the platform until we have a clear process for doing so, which will take at least a few more weeks,” he tweeted.
That means after the crucial November 8 midterm elections in the United States, which will determine control of Congress. Trump, once a prolific tweeter, retains a powerful hold on his Republican Party and has reopened his 2020 playbook by questioning the integrity of the upcoming election.
Since Musk took Twitter private last week, Trump has suggested he would be happier sticking with his own Truth Social messaging platform.
But the former president’s network has financial issues and many political strategists believe he would find it hard to resist the mass audience and influence offered by a return to Twitter, where he was once one of the site’s biggest global draws.
The announcement comes only days after the world’s wealthiest man took sole control of the social media giant in a contentious $44 billion deal, vowing to dial back content moderation.
Musk was tweeting in response to a post from the company’s head of safety, Yoel Roth, on Twitter’s efforts to combat disinformation ahead of the elections.
“We’re staying vigilant against attempts to manipulate conversations about the 2022 US midterms,” Roth said.
Musk also said he had talked to civil society leaders “about how Twitter will continue to combat hate & harassment & enforce its election integrity policies.”
Musks’s Twitter is charging $20 a month for the verification badge.