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Elon Musk ‘wanted to punch’ Kanye West after deeming rapper’s swastika tweet an ‘inciting violence’

Musk has described himself as a “free speech absolutist,” vowing to be less restrictive with content moderation than Twitter’s previous leadership. Advertisers, fearful of their brands appearing alongside hateful content, paused their advertising following Musk’s $44 billion takeover of Twitter on Oct. 27.

Musk’s reasoning regarding West’s suspension could offer insights into where he’ll draw the lines on content moderation in the future.

account of West it was suspended on Friday after posting an image of a swastika inside a star of david. This followed West repeatedly praising Adolf Hitler while appearing live far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones Cyber ​​wars program, where she said “I love the Nazis,” which she insisted “they did good things too.”

Inciting violence “against the law”

“At some point you have to say what incitement to violence is because it’s against the law in the United States,” Musk said Saturday during a live Q&A session on Twitter Spaces. “Posting up swastikas in what is obviously not a good way is incitement to violence.”

She added: “Personally I wanted to punch Kanye so this was definitely inciting me to violence. This is not good.”

Musk had before tweeted of West, “I did my best. Despite this, he again violated our rule against inciting violence. Your account will be suspended.”

Musk also said so in the Q&A Apple I had “fully recoveredadvertisement on Twitter, adding that the iPhone maker is the platform’s largest advertiser. He also thanked other advertisers for coming back. (Amazonia plans to restart Twitter advertising to the tune of about $100 million annually, according to a tweet on saturday by a Platformer reporter, citing anonymous sources.)

Musk’s content moderation plans for Twitter

Musk has fired many Twitter employees involved in content moderation, raising concerns about hateful content running rampant on the platform.

The company he told Reuters this week that he’s leaning heavily on automation to moderate content, favoring restrictions on distribution over removing some speech altogether.

“Hate speech impressions (the number of times a tweet was viewed) continue to decline, despite significant user growth,” Musk tweeted. “Freedom of speech does not mean freedom of contact. Negativity should and will have less reach than positivity.

This followed the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a London-based non-profit, saying friday that the number of daily insult-containing tweets was substantially higher than the monthly rate prior to the Musk takeover.