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Musk: Twitter will form ‘council’ to moderate tweets

In a April 30, 2015 file photo, Tesla Motors CEO and SpaceX CEO and CTO Elon Musk introduces a new line of residential and commercial batteries. (Jerome Adamstein/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
November 02, 2022

Elon Musk said Twitter, now under the billionaire’s control, will form a “content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints” to make speech policy decisions on the platform.

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO added that “no major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes.”

Five days later on Nov. 2, Musk tweeted that the council “will certainly include the civil rights community and groups who face hate-fueled violence.”

Musk finalized his months-in-the-making takeover of the social media company last week. The entrepreneur has spoken mainly about overhauling Twitter’s content moderation policies, which he has alleged are politically biased.

His “moderation council” concept mirrors a similar approach at Facebook, where since 2018 an Oversight Board of former politicians, activists and journalists has handed down decisions on issues like female nudity and Facebook’s ban of former President Donald Trump.

Facebook’s Oversight Board replied to Musk saying its members would “welcome the opportunity to discuss Twitter’s plans in more detail with the company.”

While Musk at one point said Twitter’s speech protections should be as expansive as the First Amendment itself, he recently tempered that position in a message to advertisers that said the service “cannot become a free-for-all-hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences.”

In another recent tweet, Musk said he had talked to leaders of the NAACP, Anti-Defamation League, and other “civil society leaders” about “how Twitter will continue to combat hate & harassment & enforce its election integrity policies.”

That comment came after reports of a spike in N-word usage on the service after Musk’s takeover, which Twitter’s head of safety and integrity blamed on inauthentic accounts waging a trolling campaign.