When tech billionaire Elon Musk took over Twitter in late October with a promise to protect and respect free speech, leftists with a bent for the prior censorship regime were outraged that formerly silenced conservative and independent voices might soon be heard on the platform again.
Those pro-censorship figures were further enraged Wednesday when Musk posted a poll that asked Twitter users directly if he should offer a “general amnesty” for certain suspended accounts and users overwhelmingly agreed that he should, Fox Business reported.
That rage only grew more intense after Musk, in response to the poll results, announced that his proposed “amnesty begins next week.”
Users overwhelmingly support “general amnesty” for previously banned accounts
It was Wednesday morning when Musk posted a “Yes” or “No” poll with the question: “Should Twitter offer a general amnesty to suspended accounts, provided that they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam?”
More than 3.1 million Twitter users participated in the poll, and once it had concluded on Thursday the results were clear and unmistakeable — 72.4 percent said “Yes” to Musk’s amnesty while only 27.6 percent had voted “No,” meaning that suspended accounts should remain suspended.
In response to the final results, Musk said in a follow-up tweet, “The people have spoken. Amnesty begins next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei” — a Latin phrase that means “the voice of the people is the voice of God,” according to Fox Business.
The people have spoken.
Amnesty begins next week.
Vox Populi, Vox Dei.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 24, 2022
Trump’s account restored following a similar poll
This little miniature exercise in direct democracy that so infuriated the supposedly pro-democracy leftists on Twitter was remarkably similar to a poll Musk conducted less than a week earlier to ask users if he should reinstate the permanently suspended account of former President Donald Trump.
More than 15 million users took part in that poll on November 18, and though the final results were much closer they were still undeniable, as 51.8 percent voted “Yes” for Trump’s reinstatement compared to 48.2 percent who said “No,” that the former president should remain permanently banned from the platform.
Just as he did with the amnesty poll, Musk used the Latin phrase “Vox Populi, Vox Dei” and Trump’s old account was restored shortly thereafter, though it has yet to be used by Trump again as he has instead continued to post messages to his own social media platform, Truth Social.
From a regime of one-sided censorship to an open “public square” of differing voices
The entire point of Musk spending $44 billion to purchase Twitter was to transform it from an increasingly censorship-prone platform where the ideals of free speech were not endorsed or protected to a sort of modern “public square” in which just about anybody could say just about anything that wasn’t otherwise illegal — such as direct threats or calls to violence.
It has taken some time for Musk to make that goal a reality, but he has made progress and several previously banned high-profile accounts have already been restored, with apparently more on the way after the extended holiday weekend has concluded.