Musk has taken over Twitter. Then some users started testing chaos

NEW YORK (AP) — Shortly after Elon Musk took over Twitter, some conservative figures wasted no time jumping onto the platform and recirculating long-debunked conspiracy theories in an attempt ironic to “test” if Twitter’s misinformation policies were still enforced.

Twitter made no immediate policy change announcements and in a tweet posted on Friday afternoon, Musk said Twitter would form a “content moderation council with widely diverse views” and “no major content decisions or account reinstatement will occur until such council convenes.

But that hasn’t stopped users from encouraging — or criticizing — what they expected to be a quick buy-in to Musk’s previous promises to scale back moderation in the name of promoting free speech. Some were only too eager to see what they could do under the new regime.

Popular right-wing pundits tweeted out buzzwords such as “ivermectin” and “Trump won” to see if they would be penalized for content they thought had been previously flagged. Ivermectin, a cheap drug that kills parasites in humans and animals, has been promoted by some Republican lawmakers and conservative talk show hosts as an effective way to treat COVID-19. But health experts have pushed back, warning there is little evidence to support the belief that it works.

“Okay, @elonmusk, is this thing on? Steve Cortes, a former commentator for the conservative Newsmax TV channel and adviser to former President Donald Trump, wrote in a tweet, where he included a microphone emoji. “THERE ARE TWO GENDER TRUMP WON IVERMECTIN ROCKS.”

In a letter aimed at allaying advertisers’ fears, Musk promised Thursday that Twitter would not be a “free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said without consequences.”

But the jury is still out on what will become of the social media platform – and what it will tolerate. Observers watch who stays, who leaves, and who could potentially return from the list of people the platform has banned over the years. They range from Trump to conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke – none of whom have returned to the platform so far.

The Associated Press has verified at least a dozen other Twitter accounts that have been suspended by the platform – including those used by right-wing activist James O’Keefe and MyPillow chief executive Mike Lindell – and each displayed an “account suspended” message from Friday. afternoon.

At least one has still found a way to get their point across.

“I am very happy that Twitter is now in good hands and no longer run by crazies and radical left maniacs who really hate our country,” Trump said Friday morning in a post on his Truth social media platform. Social, leaving no clues. whether he would return to the platform or not even though Musk said he would allow it.

“I LOVE THE TRUTH!” he said, adding that Twitter would be “better” if it managed to get rid of the bots and fake accounts “that hurt it so badly.”

Earlier today, media reported that Kanye West, the rapper legally known as Ye, appeared to be back on Twitter after being banned from his account earlier this month over his anti-Semitic posts on the social media platform.

But there was no evidence to suggest his account status had changed or that Musk had played a role, and there was no sign of recent activity. Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether Ye was back on the platform. The rapper and fashion designer had also been suspended from Instagram, where his account there had recently been reinstated.

Meanwhile, dozens of extremist profiles — some newly created — have been spreading racial slurs and Nazi imagery while expressing their gratitude to Musk for his new leadership. One of those posts shared a last-minute update on Musk’s takeover of the company, tweeting a racial slur and the message “thank you Elon.” Another anonymous account tweeted, “Elon now controls Twitter, unleash the racial slurs,” along with several derogatory comments.

“His acquisition of Twitter has opened Pandora’s box,” advocacy group Ultraviolet said in a prepared statement Friday, while urging Musk, Twitter executives and the company’s board to continue enforcing the law. Trump’s ban “as well as the violent right”. wing extremists and white supremacists.

Some users reacted to the news by threatening to quit, and others mocked them for it. The terms “Elon” and “removal” appeared in Twitter’s top trends on Friday as users discussed the fallout. Speculation has also permeated the platform. Some feared their Twitter follower numbers would plummet, theorizing that Twitter could clean up the bots. Other users have posted unverified reports that their likes are dropping.

“Elon Musk bought a platform, he didn’t buy people,” said Jennifer Grygiel, social media expert and professor at Syracuse University. “And we always have a choice in how we get our news, our information and how we communicate.”

Grygiel said there would be a flight to quality if Twitter descended into further chaos under Musk, and that may not be a bad thing as the platform increasingly serves corporate interests and state media.

And as always, users were quick to crack jokes — in an effort to cut through the clutter in more comedic ways.

“In honor of the fact that Elon now owns this site, I would like to unleash total mayhem,” CNN commentator Bakari Sellers wrote in a Tweet Friday morning. “Which is better Popeyes or Bojangles and why?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *