Musk’s Twitter rules: A dizzying, whiplash-inducing timeline

Dec 19, 2022, 11:55 AM | Updated: Dec 20, 2022, 10:37 am

Since Elon Musk took control of Twitter in late October, confusion over what is, and what is not allowed on the platform, even what a verified account is, has run rampant. Rules and policies can change daily, or even hourly. Little of what’s transpired at Twitter in almost two months under Musk’s leadership has anything to do with what was originally his biggest complaint about the platform: the scourge of bots, or spam accounts.

Here’s a rundown of some of the events, policy changes and confusion that has been a hallmark of Musk’s Twitter.

Oct. 27: Musk takes control of Twitter and fires the CEO, chief financial officer and the company’s top attorney.

Oct. 28: Some accounts recirculate long-debunked conspiracy theories in an attempt to “test” whether Twitter’s policies on misinformation were still being enforced.

Oct. 30: Musk tweets a link to an unfounded rumor about the attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband. He later deleted the tweet.

Oct. 31: Musk fires Twitter’s board of directors and makes himself the board’s sole member.

Nov. 3: General Mills and Audi pause ads on Twitter. Other advertisers express concerns about content moderation under Musk and whether staying on Twitter might tarnish their brands.

Nov. 5: Twitter announces a $7.99 per-month subscription service that includes a blue check just ahead of U.S. midterm elections, previously given only to verified accounts.

Nov. 6: After a raft of bogus “verified” accounts begin posting on the platform, Musk says Twitter will suspend any impersonation account that fails to make clear it’s a parody account.

Nov. 7: Musk urges “independent-minded voters” to vote Republican in the upcoming U.S. midterm elections.

Nov. 9: Musk seeks to reassure big companies that advertise on Twitter that his chaotic takeover of the social media platform won’t harm their brands, acknowledging that some “dumb things” might happen in the short term. Musk creates an “official” label for high-profile Twitter accounts, and abolishes it hours later.

Nov. 10: The Center for Countering Digital Hate found that the number of tweets containing one of several different racial slurs soared in the week after Musk bought Twitter.

Nov. 11: Twitter’s relaunched blue-check “verification” labels for anyone willing to pay $8 a month was flooded by a wave of imposter accounts Twitter had approved, including a bogus Eli Lilly & Co. account that tweeted that insulin was free. Nintendo, Lockheed Martin, Musk’s own companies Tesla and SpaceX were also impersonated, as well as the accounts of various professional sports and political figures.

Nov. 13: Musk further guts the teams that battle misinformation on Twitter as outsourced moderators are let go.

Nov. 17: Democratic senators ask federal regulators to investigate any possible violations by Twitter of consumer-protection laws or of its data-security commitments.

Nov. 19: Donald Trump’s account is reinstated, reversing a ban that has kept the former president off the social media site since a pro-Trump mob attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. The decision was based on the results of a poll Musk tweeted to followers.

Nov. 21: Twitter reinstates the personal account of far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, which was banned in January for violating the platform’s COVID-19 misinformation policies.

Nov. 25: Twitter announces plans to revamp its premium service with different colored check marks, including gold for companies, gray for government accounts, and blue for anyone who will pay for it.

Nov. 28: Twitter ceases enforcement of its policy against COVID-19 misinformation on the platform.

Nov. 30: A top European Union official warns Musk that Twitter needs to beef up measures to protect users from hate speech, misinformation and other harmful content to avoid fines or even a ban in the 27-nation bloc.

Dec. 10: Twitter again attempts to launch its premium service for $8 per month for web users, but it’s now $11 per month for iPhone and iPad users.

Dec. 12: Twitter dissolves its Trust and Safety Council, the advisory group of around 100 independent civil, human rights and other organizations that the company formed in 2016 to address hate speech, child exploitation, suicide, self-harm and other problems on the platform.

Dec. 14: Twitter suspends an account that used publicly available flight data to track Elon Musk’s private jet, despite a pledge by the social media platform’s new owner to keep it up because of his free speech principles. The account is restored hours later with rules that impose new conditions on all users about sharing anyone’s current location, and then the account is suspended again.

Dec. 15: The accounts of journalists who cover Musk are suspended, among them reporters working for The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, Voice of America and other publications. The accounts are restored a day later after a Twitter poll.

Dec. 19: More than half of 17.5 million users who responded to a Twitter poll created by Musk over whether he should step down as head of the company voted yes by the time the poll closed. There was no immediate announcement from Twitter, or Musk, about whether he would resign, though Musk said that he would abide by the results.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A customer holds whale meat purchased from a vending machine at Kyodo Senpaku's unmanned store, Thu...
Associated Press

Japan launches whale meat vending machines to promote sales

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — A Japanese whaling operator, after struggling for years to promote its controversial products, has found a new way to cultivate clientele and bolster sales: whale meat vending machines. The Kujira (Whale) Store, an unmanned outlet that recently opened in the port town of Yokohama near Tokyo, houses three machines for whale […]
1 day ago
The Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-06 passes the High Class Racing ORECA LMP2 07 in a turn during a p...
Associated Press

IMSA takes North American sports cars into hybrid era

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The Cadillac growls, while the Porsche and BMW scream. The Acura sounds like an Indy car, and for fun, turn your back to the track and listen carefully as the cars roar around Daytona International Speedway in a new era of IMSA sports car racing. The top prototype class has […]
1 day ago
A new Jeep is delivered to a dealership in Pittsburgh on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. On Friday, the Comm...
Associated Press

US inflation and consumer spending cooled in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge eased further in December, and consumer spending fell — the latest evidence that the Fed’s series of interest rate hikes are slowing the economy. Friday’s report from the Commerce Department showed that prices rose 5% last month from a year earlier, down from a 5.5% year-over-year […]
1 day ago
Mass timber affordable home prototypes are shown at the Port of Portland in Portland, Ore. Friday, ...
Associated Press

Oregon pins hopes on mass timber to boost housing, jobs

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Inside a warehouse at the industrial Port of Portland lies what some believe could be the answer to Oregon’s housing crisis — a prototype of an affordable housing unit made from mass timber. Once mass-produced at the factory being planned at the port, the units ranging from 426 square feet (40 […]
1 day ago
FILE - The seal of the Board of Governors of the United States Federal Reserve System is displayed ...
Associated Press

Wyoming crypto bank’s Federal Reserve application denied

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The Federal Reserve Board has denied a Wyoming cryptocurrency bank’s application for Federal Reserve System membership, officials announced Friday, dealing a setback to the crypto industry’s attempts to build acceptance in mainstream U.S. banking. Many in crypto have been looking to Cheyenne-based Custodia Bank’s more than 2-year-old application as a bellwether […]
1 day ago
In this image provided by the U.S. Air Force, Senior Airmen Andrew Whitener and Tyler Glodgett 341s...
Associated Press

Nuclear strike chief seeks cancer review of launch officers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top Air Force general in charge of the nation’s air- and ground-launched nuclear missiles has requested an official investigation into the number of officers who are reporting blood cancer diagnoses after serving at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana. The illnesses became publicly known this week after The Associated Press obtained […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Company looking for oldest air conditioner and wants to reward homeowner with new one

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
Musk’s Twitter rules: A dizzying, whiplash-inducing timeline