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Twitter CEO Elon Musk faced questions and backlash Friday in response to a new policy centered around policing mean tweets on the social media platform.
The news comes as Musk has faced pressure from advertisers, activists, and other entities to moderate content on the platform while he simultaneously has made drastic reductions in the company’s workforce.
“New Twitter policy is freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach,” Musk tweeted. “Negative/hate tweets will be max deboosted & demonetized, so no ads or other revenue to Twitter. You won’t find the tweet unless you specifically seek it out, which is no different from rest of Internet.”
“Naval,” a highly popular Twitter account with nearly 2 million followers, responded to Musk’s tweet by writing: “Freedom of speech means Twitter not putting its thumb on the scale.”
Another popular Twitter account, “I,Hypocrite” responded, “What a disappointment this guy is.”
“The very concept of deboosting should not even exist because there shouldn’t be an algorithm on twitter,” I,Hypocrite tweeted. “Your timeline should just show the tweets that are posted in the order they are posted. Period. Don’t like it? Block/unfollow.”
What a disappointment this guy is.
— I,Hypocrite (@lporiginalg) November 18, 2022
Reporter Zack Budryk tweeted, “You paid this guy $8 to make shadowbanning real LMAO.”
“If I attack the supreme leader of Iran is that considered a ‘negative/hate’ tweet?” journalist Yashar Ali tweeted. “How will the system tell the difference?”
“Meet the new boss, same as the old boss,” law professor Orin Kerr responded.
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) tweeted, “Will it be transparent? Will it be according to a published policy? Will we know when it’s happening? If not, how is this any different from the old twitter?”
“Ok how is this any different than the previous policy?” conservative political commentator Allie Beth Stuckey tweeted. “People’s tweets suppressed because a biased rando at twitter thinks a tweet is mean or mad?”
Musk also reinstated the account of comedian Kathy Griffin, who was permanently banned after impersonating Musk from her Twitter account.
Musk said that a decision was forthcoming about whether to reinstate former President Donald Trump.