Elon Musk ended the Twitter account suspension of National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman Steve Daines and ended up clarifying Twitter’s policy on blood in profile pics, which was what prompted the suspension.
Daines account was suspended on Tuesday after he displayed a photo of his wife and himself hunting. Apparently a small amount of blood was visible in the photo, which was against Twitter’s policy of not showing blood in profile pics.
The suspension, which appeared to be because of the hunting part of the photo, outraged Republicans.
Elon Musk stepped personally into the fray, and after reviewing the photo, decided to modify the policy.
“This is being fixed,” Musk said in a tweet. “Policy against showing blood in profile pic is being amended to ‘clearly showing blood without clicking on the profile pic’. The intent is to avoid people being forced to see gruesome profile pics.”
“Going forward, Twitter will be broadly accepting of different values, rather than trying to impose its own specific values on the world,” Musk added.
Prior to the change, several prominent Republicans expressed their outrage over the suspension.
“This is the family photo that got @SteveDaines put in twitter jail. Stop censoring our Montana way of life! Great shot, Cindy!” Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) tweeted.
“Twitter has ridiculously suspended Sen. @SteveDaines because his profile picture is of him and his wife hunting…What a disgrace!” Donald Trump Jr. posted.
Musk has taken many steps to restore free speech on Twitter and to censor fewer accounts–only the most egregious violations.
He restored the account of former President Donald Trump, which had been permanently suspended after the events of January 6, 2021. He also restored many other accounts that had been suspended for political reasons.
Facebook and Instagram also restored Trump’s account, but they had not permanently suspended it as Twitter had. They also put more restrictions on his account and made it clear that if he violated their policies again, they would suspend him again for a longer period of time.
Twitter is now the only Big Tech social media platform that has reversed previous policies of calling speech that is against a leftist political perspective “hate speech.”
It is dangerous for such influential platforms in a democratic society to censor political speech or sincerely held religious views, and Musk recognizes this. Without a similar recognition from others with the kind of power Big Tech has, the entire foundation of American freedom is at risk.