Elon Musk, who has described himself as a “free speech absolutist” completed his buyout of Twitter for $44billion last month and has said he will allow users on the platform to have a greater degree of free speech. Another user who has been unbanned from the website is musician Kayne West, who was suspended from Twitter six weeks ago for antisemitism.
Kanye West returned to Twitter by posting the Hebrew word “shalom” alongside a smiley face.
The word is often translated to mean “peace” but is also often used as a greeting as well.
A few hours before, he tweeted: “Testing Testing Seeing if my Twitter is unblocked” to which Elon Musk replied: “Don’t kill what ye hate. Save what ye love”.
Kanye is just one of many accounts that are back on the social media platform, including the former President Donald Trump who was banned last year for glorifying violence during the January 6 Capitol riots.
Elon Musk made his decision to unban the 45th President by asking people on Twitter to participate in a poll, in which 15 million users voted and decided to welcome back Donald Trump by 4 percent of the vote.
Elon Musk tweeted: “The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated, Vox Populi, Vox Deli” which is Latin for ‘the voice of the people is the voice of God.’
However, it is currently unclear if the former US leader will return to Twitter.
Other controversial users back on the social media platform include Republican congresswomen Marjorie Taylor Greene, who was banned for Covid misinformation and Andrew Tate, a social media influencer often criticised for misogyny.
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The decision to let certain users back on the site has caused some backlash among civil rights groups.
The head of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Derrick Johnson has urged advertisers to boycott Twitter since Donald Trump was allowed back on, as Twitter relies on adverts for around 90 percent of its revenue.
Chief Executive of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Jonathan Greenblatt, has said the decisions by Elon Musk prove “he is not remotely serious about safeguarding the platform from hate, harassment and misinformation”.
The head of the ADL said he met with Elon Musk earlier in November and said the tech billionaire promised not to bring anyone back to Twitter without a “transparent, clear process that took into consideration the views of civil society”.
He also described the new Twitter chief’s decisions as “erratic and alarming” and added: “Is it time for Twitter to go?”
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A spokesman for the Brand Safety Institute, which works with advertisers to manage their reputation online, has said: “We are disheartened by the change in approach that Musk has chosen.”
While speaking to the BBC, the spokesman said: “We will continue to educate advertisers, and work with platforms, about the choices they have in supporting healthy online experiences for both brands and people.”
New York representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez also responded, and said the last time Donald Trump was on Twitter “this platform was used to incite an insurrection, multiple people died, the Vice President of the United States was nearly assassinated, and hundreds were injured.”
In an apparent response to the backlash, Elon Musk wrote on Twitter: “Hope all judgy hall monitors stay on other platforms – please, I’m begging you.”