Activist group Free Press has criticized Twitter for reinstating former President Donald Trump’s account. The group said that Elon Musk broke his promise not to make such decisions before the formation of a content moderation council with input from activist groups.
Trump’s account was reinstated almost two years after it was banned, following the results of a poll started by Musk. The results were close, with 52% of the 15 million users who voted saying Trump should be reinstated.
Free Press co-CEO Jessica Gonzalez said that Musk did not honor agreements he made with civil rights groups last week.
“Musk’s reinstatement of Trump’s account involved no clear process but relied on the results of a flimsy Twitter poll, asking Musk’s followers to decide the former president’s fate,” Gonzalez said.
“Musk took this careless decision without convening the new council he promised to protect Twitter users from hate and disinformation and keep advertisers from exiting the platform. As far as I can tell, this new council doesn’t exist. It’s just one of the many bad-faith promises Musk has made civil-rights leaders and then tossed aside.”
“But it’s not just advertisers and Twitter’s revenues that Musk’s bad-faith gestures have put at risk,” Gonzalez continued. “It’s communities of color, political dissidents and other threatened groups and individuals that are too often on the receiving end of hate from Trump and authoritarians and white supremacists like him. Musk’s willingness to betray civil-rights leaders is a sure sign that Twitter’s hellscape is already here.”
The NAACP aired similar remarks.
“In Elon Musk’s Twittersphere, you can incite an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, which led to the deaths of multiple people, and still be allowed to spew hate speech and violent conspiracies on his platform,” NAACP President Derrick Johnson said in a statement. “If Elon Musk continues to run Twitter like this, using garbage polls that do not represent the American people and the needs of our democracy, God help us all.”
Before Trump’s account was reinstated, Johnson had called on Twitter to “commit to never allowing Donald Trump” back because he is a “super-spreader of hate and disinformation.”