Ten people could bring Elon Musk back to Twitter – by removing their permanent bans | Science and technology news
After buying Twitter, Tesla founder Elon Musk is expected to make some changes to the site – including unblocking the one that was previously suspended.
Mr Musk has previously said it was wrong to ban Donald Trump and there has been speculation that other high-profile outcasts like Katie Hopkins may soon return to the site.
The business tycoon – who describes himself as a free speech advocate – announced the acquisition by writing: “The bird is freed,” suggesting he thinks the site is too restrictive.
Since its inception, Twitter has suspended a number of high-profile accounts for violating its user policies.
Here are ten people currently serving life bans but who could be brought back to the site now owned by Mr Musk.
One of the most prominent returnees may be the former US President, who was banned in the wake of the 2021 Capitol riots.
Trump had claimed that the 2020 US presidential election had been rigged, and many of his supporters rioted and stormed Washington on January 6, 2021.
He was criticized for not telling his supporters to resign.
One of his recent tweets read: “The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for ME, AMERICA FIRST and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN will have a HUGE VOICE for a long time to come. You will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way or form!!!”
Elon Musk has previously said he would reverse Mr Trump’s ‘stupid’ ban. One of the first decisions he made after completing his acquisition of the site was to fire Vijaya Gadde, the head of legal policy, trust and safety and the person responsible for Trump’s Twitter ban.
However, Mr Trump has previously said he would not return to the site even if given the chance – instead focusing on his own creation, Truth Social.
Read more about Twitter takeover: super app or “wild west”? The future of Twitter under Elon Musk
The right-wing commentator was permanently banned in 2020 for violating the site’s rules on “abuse and hateful behavior.”
HopkinsWho first rose to fame in The Apprentice series three, became known for voicing controversial opinions on the platform and has been accused of using her account to incite racial hatred.
She criticized the Black Lives Matter movement and sparked a Twitter feud with the England soccer star Marcus Rashford on his successful lobbying for the expansion of the free school lunch program.
The Florida man who shot and killed black teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012 – and who was subsequently acquitted of all charges – had his account suspended in 2015.
He had used the platform to post half-naked photos of a woman he identified as his ex-girlfriend.
Alongside the photos were her name, phone number and email address. He also accused her of cheating on him with a “dirty Muslim”.
His tweets violated Twitter’s policy of posting personal contact information or intimate photos without consent, so his account was shut down.
The conspiracy theorist who claimed 5G mobile networks were linked to the spread of COVID was banned in 2020.
He also believes he is the son of God and the world is ruled by reptiles (and the royal family are all lizards).
His most recent posts included attacks on then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Bill Gates.
Such theories have been linked to a number of attacks 5G masts during the pandemic.
The former leader of the English Defense League (EDL) was suspended in 2018.
The far-right figure’s profile is believed to have violated the platform’s policy on “hateful behavior” – but it is unknown what prompted the suspension.
Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, is widely regarded as an anti-Islam activist and had more than 400,000 followers on the platform.
His supporters rallied under the hashtag #IAmTommy to protest the suspension.
He was known as the man whose pharmaceutical company made huge profits by raising the price of a life-saving drug from $13.50 to $750 a pill.
Shkreli, who was chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals – later Vyera – said there was capitalism at work and insurance companies would make sure people who needed Daraprim would get it.
Even Mr Trump criticized the move, branding it a “spoiled brat”.
Shkreli was eventually permanently banned from the site for targeting journalist Lauren Duca. So the “pharmaceutical brother”. serving a prison sentence because of fraudulent hedge fund investors – but was only published in May of this year.
Right-wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos was permanently banned from Twitter in 2016 after Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones was abused by trolls.
The technology editor of US website Breitbart – who described himself as “the most fabulous supervillain on the internet” – has been accused of promoting trolls.
The permanent ban caused his fans to tweet the hashtag #freeMilo.
After his ban, Yiannopoulos appeared at a Republican National Convention side event wearing a bulletproof vest and said, “I just got banned from Twitter.”
The singer became famous for her offensive Twitter rants, including racial and homophobic abuse against former One Direction member Zayn Malik.
Eventually, the platform permanently banned them in 2020.
She also made homophobic comments against Perez Hilton and LGBT+ rights organization Glaad.
She refused to apologize, once writing: “Even though I’m homophobic… so wat? [sic] I still make more $ than you.”
That US conspiracy theorist – founder of the Infowars website – was banned four years ago.
Jones was infamous for directing the Sandy Hook school shooting, one of the deadliest shootings in US history staged by gun control activists with actors — though he’s since admitted it was real. In the end, he was awarded more than a billion dollars in compensation.
In 2017, after promoting the fake “Pizzagate” story, he apologized that a Washington pizza restaurant was the scene of a child sex abuse ring run by Hillary Clinton and her campaign chairman John Podesta, the Washington Post reported .
Donald Trump’s former chief strategist has been banned from Twitter after he covered the beheading of Dr. Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Bannon made the comments calling for medieval violence during a live stream of his talk show and podcast, War Room: Pandemic.
“I would put the heads on skewers. Right. I would put them on the two corners of the White House. As a warning to federal bureaucrats, either you continue with the program or you’re gone,” he said.