- Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene had her personal Twitter account reinstated Monday.
- Greene’s is just one of several accounts reinstated since Elon Musk acquired the social network in October.
- Kanye West, now known as Ye, and others including Kathy Griffin have also had their accounts reactivated.
Elon Musk’s Twitter has reinstated the personal account of far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene more than 10 months after permanently being suspended for “repeated violations” of the platform’s COVID misinformation policies.
The Georgia Republican’s account had also been suspended in July 2021 for publishing incorrect information on COVID vaccinations and wearing face masks during the pandemic.
The move, which took place Monday, comes days after the social media platform reinstated the account of former President Donald Trump amid a season of upheaval at the platform that has accompanied Musk’s takeover of the company.
Greene and Trump are among a slew of people whose accounts were disabled and recently restored.
“I’m the only Member of Congress the unelected big tech oligarchs permanently banned,” Greene tweeted on Monday from her congressional account. “On January 2, 2022, they violated my freedom of speech and ability to campaign & fundraise crying “covid misinformation.”
“My account is back. Go follow @mtgreenee for MTG unfiltered ;)” she added.
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The first tweet Monday from her reinstated personal account read, “Free speech is dead” and included an hour and 14 minute video she recorded live on the platform.
“I think it’s time to talk about how free speech is dead and I know that sounds like something interesting to say especially the very day that I get my personal Twitter account back but the reality is I should have never lost it in the first place,” she says in the video.
Green apparently wants more accounts reinstated. On her congressional account Tuesday, she retweeted a list of names Twitter user @lporiginalg said should also be reinstated including white nationalist Nick Fuentes who was banned from the platform last year, and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, banned in 2018 for abusive behavior.
Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, returned to Twitter over the weekend, writing “shalom” in one of his first posts since appearing to take a break from the platform after his account was restricted over antisemitic remarks.
Trump’s account was banned in the aftermath of the deadly Jan. 6 riots on the Capitol in 2021. At the time, Twitter feared there was a risk of further incitement to violence if Trump were allowed to remain on the platform.
The decision to reinstated it came after Musk created a poll which 15 million people responded to, with nearly 52% in favor of the former president returning to the platform.
“The people have spoken,” Musk wrote on Twitter Saturday. “Trump will be reinstated.” He added the Latin phrase “Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” which means the voice of the people is the voice of God.
As of Tuesday, Trump, who himself has said he won’t return to Twitter, had not tweeted since the reinstatement. But he had not deleted his account.
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While Musk conducted an unscientific Twitter poll ahead of reinstating Trump, there appeared to be no such poll for Greene’s account.
Earlier, Musk said he would not make major decisions about content or restoring banned accounts before setting up a “content moderation council ” with diverse viewpoints. Neither Twitter nor Musk have announced the existence of such a council. Twitter did not respond to a request for comment on Monday.
Musk has frequently expressed his belief that Twitter had become too restrictive. Before the U.S. midterm elections this month, he urged his “independent-minded” Twitter followers to vote Republican.
One account Musk said he won’t allow reinstate to Twitter is that of Jones.
“My firstborn child died in my arms. I felt his last heartbeat,” Musk tweeted Sunday in response to calls for Jones’ reinstatement. “I have no mercy for anyone who would use the deaths of children for gain, politics or fame.”
Jones was sued by victims’ families for promoting false conspiracy theories about the Sandy Hook school massacre. Judgements against him have totaled $1.44 billion.
Here are other accounts recently reinstated by the platform:
The rapper formerly known as Kanye West returned to Twitter on Sunday.
“Shalom”, he tweeted, one month after his Twitter account was suspended over anti-Semitic remarks.
“Testing Testing Seeing if my Twitter is unblocked,” Ye also wrote. Musk responded shortly after, writing, “Don’t kill what ye hate / Save what ye love.”
The contested comedian was booted off Twitter Nov. 6 after she impersonated Musk, changing her Twitter name to his.
In response, Musk announced a new Twitter policy, saying: “Going forward, any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying ‘parody’ will be permanently suspended.”
Griffin then took over her late mother, Maggie Griffin’s account, and posted. “I’m back from the grave to say…#FreeKathy #TipIt,” the account tweeted. (It has since been hidden.)
Musk announced on Nov.18 that Griffin had regained access to her Twitter account.
The self-help author was suspended this summer when Peterson referred to actor Elliot Page by his former name, which violates Twitter’s policies on harassment.
After his suspension, the conservative psychologist posted a 15-minute video that he would not delete the offending tweet in order to regain access to his account.
“Up yours, woke moralists. We’ll see who cancels who!”
Reinstated on Nov. 18, Peterson thanked Musk with a photo from “The Shining.”
The right-wing outlet was suspended in March after tweeting an anti-trans joke about assistant secretary for health Rachel Levine. That month, USA Today named Levine a top “Woman of the Year”; the Bee responded by naming Levine “Man of the Year,” violating Twitter’s hateful conduct policy.
Regaining access to Twitter at the time required the publication to delete the offensive tweet, but the Babylon Bee refused.
“We won’t compromise the truth just to keep our account,” CEO Seth Dillon wrote March 22.
When the account was reinstated Friday, the publication tweeted: “We’re back. Let that sink in.”
Meanwhile, musicians including Trent Reznor and Jack White have deleted their accounts following Musk’s takeover.
White deactivated the account of his label, Third Man Records over the weekend.
In an Instagram post explaining the decision, The White Stripes and Raconteurs member called Trump’s reinstatement “absolutely disgusting.”
“You intend to give platforms to known liars and wash your hands like pontius pilate and claim no responsibility?” White said. “[T]his is straight up you trying to help a fascist have a platform so you can eventually get your tax breaks. I mean, how many more billions do you need that you have to risk democracy itself to obtain it?”
Meanwhile, Reznor called Musk’s takeover an embarrassment and said he was “about to depart” Twitter during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
“We don’t need the arrogance of the billionaire class to feel like they can just come in and solve everything,” the Nine Inch Nails bandleader said.
Here are others who have left the platform:
The “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” creator shared with her followers on Oct. 29 that she is not “hanging around for whatever Elon has planned. Bye.”
Hadid recently reposted former Twitter Human Rights Counsel member Shannon Raj Singh‘s tweet on Instagram, claiming that the “entire Human Rights team has been cut from the company,” according to screenshots obtained by Page Six and Buzzfeed.
In a now-expired Instagram Story, the model said she deactivated her Twitter. “For a long time, but especially with its new leadership,” Hadid wrote, “it’s becoming more and more of a cesspool of hate & bigotry, and its (sic) not a place I want to be a part of.”
“Love Song” and “Brave” singer Sara Bareilles tweeted on Oct. 30 that she will see her fans on “other platforms.”
“Sorry, this one’s just not for me,” she said.
“Un-Break My Heart” singer Toni Braxton shared that she is “shocked and appalled at some of the ‘free speech’ I’ve seen on this platform since its acquisition.”
“Hate speech under the veil of ‘free speech’ is unacceptable; therefore I am choosing to stay off Twitter as it is no longer a safe space for myself, my sons and other POC,” she shared.
Braxton did not cite specific tweets or messages in her post.
Actress and “The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg revealed on Nov. 7 that she’s “getting off” Twitter following Musk’s acquisition of the online platform, citing the suspension of comedian Kathy Griffin’s account and the introduction of purchasable verified accounts.
“I’m getting off today because I just feel like it’s so messy,” Goldberg said. “I’m tired of – now having had certain kinds of attitudes blocked and now they’re back on – and I’m just going to get out and if it settles down and I feel more comfortable, maybe I’ll come back.”
The “This is Us” producer told his nearly 300,000 followers on Oct. 28 that “I’m out of here. No judgement.”
“Let’s keep the faith. Let’s protect our democracy. Let’s try to be kinder. Let’s try to save the planet. Let’s try to be more generous. Let’s look to find peace in the world,” he shared.
“Madam Secretary” actor Leoni shared on Oct. 29 that she is “coming off Twitter,” telling her followers “let’s see where we are when the dust settles.”
“Today the dust has revealed too much hate, too much in the wrong direction. Love, kindness, and possibilities for all of you,” she added.
Contributing: Naledi Ushe, Edward Segarra, Marina Pitofsky and The Associated Press.
Natalie Neysa Alund covers trending news for USA TODAY. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.
Story Credit: usatoday.com