Elon Musk pledged early Wednesday Twitter will not reinstate banned accounts for weeks, meaning that users including former president Donald Trump will not have the ability to rejoin the social media site before the midterm elections.
Twitter will “continue to combat hate & harassment & enforce its election integrity policies,” he tweeted.
Musk’s comments came after a Tuesday meeting with a handful of civil rights and activist groups including Color of Change, Free Press, NAACP and Anti-Defamation League.
Nearly 50 organizations signed on to a letter to Twitter’s top advertisers this week asking them to cease marketing spending on the social media site if “he follows through on his plans to undermine brand safety and community standards including gutting content moderation.”
The groups noted that they were concerned about the spike in hate and disinformation on the platform in the hours after Musk took over ownership of the platform.
“Not only are extremists celebrating Musk’s takeover of Twitter, they are seeing it as a new opportunity to post the most abusive, harassing, and racist language and imagery,” the groups wrote.
The groups also criticized Musk for publicly supported the idea of restoring the accounts “of prominent individuals Twitter had suspended for inciting and glorifying political violence.”
Twitter’s content moderation council will include representatives with widely divergent views, which will certainly include the civil rights community and groups who face hate-fueled violence
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 2, 2022
Musk has decried the use of permanent bans and said he would restore Trump’s account. Twitter banned him following the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Musk explained his thinking at an event hosted by the Financial Times in May, calling the ban a “mistake” and saying it “was a morally bad decision, to be clear, and foolish in the extreme.”
Speaking generally, Musk said temporary suspensions could be appropriate in situations where such action may need to be taken. Musk has advocated for content moderation policies rooted in free speech, that do little beyond the law to clamp down on speech.
Faiz Siddiqui contributed to this report.
This story is breaking and will be updated.