SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk said Thursday he is granting “amnesty” to suspended accounts, which Internet security experts predict will lead to an increase in harassment, hate speech and misinformation.

The billionaire’s announcement came after he asked in a poll posted on his timeline to vote for the reinstatement of accounts that had not “broken the law or engaged in egregious spam.” 72% voted for it.

“The people have spoken. The amnesty begins next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk tweeted, using a Latin phrase that means “voice of the people, voice of God.”

Musk used the same Latin phrase after posting a similar poll last weekend before restoring former President Donald Trump’s account, which Twitter banned for encouraging a rebellion at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Trump said he would not return to Twitter, but did not delete his account.

Such online surveys are not scientific at all and can easily be influenced by bots.

In the month since Musk took over Twitter, groups that monitor racist, anti-Semitic and other toxic speech say the number of de facto public spaces around the world is growing. This includes a spate of racist abuse from soccer players at the World Cup, which Twitter is allegedly failing to address.

The surge in malicious content is largely due to the unrest that followed Musk’s decision to lay off half of the company’s 7,500 employees, fire top executives and then issue a series of ultimatums that forced hundreds of others to quit. Countless content moderation contractors were also let go. Among those who resigned because of a lack of faith in Musk’s willingness to prevent Twitter from degenerating into a chaos of uncontrolled speech was Twitter’s head of trust and security, Yoel Roth.

Major advertisers have also abandoned the platform.

On October 28, the day after he took control, Musk tweeted that the suspended accounts would not be reinstated until Twitter formed a “content moderation board” with diverse viewpoints to review the cases.

On Tuesday, he said he was reneging on that promise because he agreed to it at the request of “a large coalition of political and community activist groups,” who later “broke the deal” by calling on advertisers to at least temporarily stop serving Twitter their business.

A day earlier, Twitter reinstated the personal account of far-right activist Marjorie Taylor Green, who was banned in January for violating the platform’s policy on misinformation about COVID.

Musk, meanwhile, has become increasingly friendly on Twitter with right-wing figures. Ahead of this month’s US midterm elections, he urged “independently minded” people to vote Republican.

Twitter is taking longer to review and removing hateful content compared to 2021, a European Union report published Thursday said. The report is based on data collected in the spring — before Musk bought Twitter — as part of an annual assessment of online platforms’ compliance with the bloc’s code of conduct on disinformation. Twitter was found to have assessed just over half of the notifications it received for illegal hate speech within 24 hours, compared to 82% in 2021.

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