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29th Oct 2022

Elon Musk says he had nothing to do with Kanye West’s Twitter account being reactivated

Steve Hopkins

Elon said his company did not consult or inform him about giving his mate, Ye, access again

Elon Musk has claimed he had nothing to do with Kanye West‘s Twitter account being reactivated just hours after he took over the social media platform.

The rapper was banned from Twitter earlier this month after posting antisemitic statements, including a now-deleted tweet sent October 8. The ban was the start of a monumental plummet from super-stardom for the rapper, now known as Ye. He’s lost a bunch of major deals since, dropping $2 billion in net worth in a single day.

After news broke Friday that Musk had officially acquired Twitter in a takeover costing around $44 billion (£38 billion), some social media users noticed Ye’s account was back up and running.

Many assumed the move was the first of many banned accounts Musk is predicted to restore as a vocal supporter of ‘free speech’.

After axing a few top execs on day one, it was suggested Musk would soon welcome former US President Donald Trump back to Twitter.

The billionaire said in June: “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.”

Ye also recently defended Musk,  calling US President Joe Biden a ‘f**king r******d’ for turning down a meeting with the Tesla CEO.

Following a severe backlash in recent days, a Meta-enforced Instagram ban was lifted for Ye Thursday. Twitter access came a day later, but despite people suggesting this was all Musk’s doing, he’s said otherwise.

In a tweet Friday, Musk said Ye’s account was restored before his purchase of the platform was complete. He added: “They did not consult or inform me.”

The New York Times noted that Twitter only restricted Ye’s account rather than suspending it after the antisemitic tweet while also removing the offending post.

Unlike fully banned accounts, restricted ones look as they always do, but the user can’t post or interact on the platform.

Elaborating on his thoughts on content moderation, the SpaceX founder wrote that Twitter will be “forming a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints. No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes.”

When a commenter responded to the post asking why he had restored Ye’s account, the billionaire explained that he hadn’t.

On Tuesday, Adidas dropped its Yeezy contract with Ye, with “immediate effect” saying the company does not “tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech”. GAP also dropped the rapper, as did Apple Music, talent agency CAA and a bunch of other big companies.

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