In one of his first acts as the newly minted owner of Twitter, Elon Musk is expected to welcome back users who have received lifetime bans.
The world’s richest man, who signed on the dotted line to purchase the platform for $44 billion on Thursday, will do away with the bans because he does not believe that anyone should be removed from the site for life, a source told Bloomberg News.
A self-described “free speech absolutist,” he previously said he is looking to give users a “timeout” rather than a lifelong ban.
The end of the practice could see the return of some of the top-followed accounts. Below, we take a look at some of the banned users who might get a second chance on the site.
Former President Donald Trump was removed from Twitter and other large social media platforms after the events at the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Trump was accused of inciting his supporters to riot at the Capitol while Congress was in session to officially certify President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.
The former president, who had 88.6 million followers, called the ban “disgusting” before vowing not to return to the platform. Instead, he touted his own social media platform, Truth Social.
New Twitter owner Musk recently said he would reverse Twitter’s ban on Trump once he got the ball rolling after the takeover.
The Tesla tycoon told Financial Times earlier this year that “permanent bans should be extremely rare and really reserved for accounts that are bots, or scam, spam accounts … I do think it was not correct to ban Donald Trump.”
“I think that was a mistake because it alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice.”
“I would reverse the permanent ban,” Musk added.
Controversial rapper Kanye West was among the stars slapped with a Twitter ban following a slew of foul-mouthed, anti-Semitic remarks in recent weeks.
The “Jesus Walks” hitmaker was booted after writing early Sunday that he wanted to go “death con 3” on Jews — just hours after Musk welcomed him back to the platform.
In a disturbing rant, the rapper also known as Ye wrote, “I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE The funny thing is I actually can’t be Anti Semitic because black people are actually Jew also You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda.”
A Twitter rep told The Post that West’s account “has been locked due to a violation of Twitter’s policies.” That means the Grammy winner can’t currently tweet, and the tweet in question has been deleted.
Asked if he was sorry for his remarks, West told The Post columnist Piers Morgan, “No. Absolutely not.”
Marjorie Taylor Greene
Twitter permanently booted Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from the social media platform in January, saying she had repeatedly violated its policies by posting misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Georgia Republican’s personal account “@mtgreenee” was permanently blocked, although her congressional account “@RepMTG” is still online.
“We permanently suspended the account you referenced (@mtgreenee) for repeated violations of our COVID-19 misinformation policy,” Twitter said in a statement. “We’ve been clear that, per our strike system for this policy, we will permanently suspend accounts for repeated violations of the policy.”
Greene responded to the ban by going on the social media site Telegram to call Twitter an “enemy of the people.”
“Twitter is an enemy to America and can’t handle the truth,” the congresswoman said. She went on to say she’ll show America that “we don’t need them and it’s time to defeat our enemies.”
“They can’t successfully complete a Communist revolution when people tell the truth,” she said, adding that “Communist Democrats can’t stop the truth. I stand with the truth and the people. We will overcome!”
Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was booted from Twitter in November 2020 after he suggested that Dr. Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray should be beheaded.
The disturbing comments were made during a livestream of his podcast, “War Room: Pandemic,” where he said he would “put the heads on pikes.”
“Right. I’d put them at the two corners of the White House. As a warning to federal bureaucrats: Either get with the program or you’re gone,” he said in the now-deleted clip.
The show’s Twitter account, @WarRoomPandemic, was blocked after it shared the video. Twitter released a statement at the time saying the video violated “policy on the glorification of violence.”
In 2016, Twitter announced it had moved to permanently suspend a number of user accounts, including that of Breitbart tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos, for abuse of comedian Leslie Jones.
The “Ghostbusters” actress announced she would quit the social media site if nothing were to be done about it, before sharing several abusive tweets she received on the platform.
“I leave Twitter tonight with tears and a very sad heart. All this cause I did a movie,” she wrote. “You can hate the movie but the s–t I got today…wrong.”
Among those banned was Yiannopoulos, who had been a controversial figure on the site and helped lead the abuse against Jones.
Scandal-scarred rapper Azealia Banks was slapped with a Twitter ban in 2016 after years of public feuds and hurling slurs.
The rapper had spats with an array of celebrities, including former One Direction star Zayn Malik and Disney star Skai Jackson, and also took shots at Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and Nicki Minaj.
Banks threw out a slur at Malik, who is part Pakistani, apparently angry with him after he dropped his music video for “Like I Would,” which Banks compared to imagery for her previous track “Chasing Time.”
Banks then turned her fire on Jackson, telling the teen that she needed plastic surgery, before digging into Gaga and Rihanna.
Banks attempted to create a new Twitter account using the handle @azealiabanks_. After it amassed 1,533 followers, Twitter suspended that account as well.
Roger Stone, a right-wing firebrand and friend of President Donald Trump, was kicked off Twitter in 2017.
Stone went on a profanity-laced, multi-post rant against CNN anchors Don Lemon and Jake Tapper, the Washington Post’s Carl Bernstein, the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol, and other journalists and commentators.
The rant riffed off reports that a special counsel investigation of Paul Manafort was leading to indictments. He wrote, “Breaking: [Robert] Mueller indicts Paul Manafort‘s driver for double parking.”
He later wrote, “@donlemon stop lying about the Clinton’s and Uranium you ignorant lying covksucker !!!! You fake news you dumb piece of s–t.” He also called some CNN personalities “human excrement.”
Stone’s account was suspended at least twice before, in March and April 2017.
Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke was permanently banned from Twitter in 2020 for spewing hate speech on the social media platform.
Duke, a self-proclaimed white supremacist and ex-grand wizard of the Knights of the KKK, was “permanently suspended” for violating rules about “hateful conduct,” Twitter said in a statement at the time.
Duke’s final tweet linked to an interview with German Holocaust denier Germar Rudolf — who was convicted of the denial in his homeland, where it’s a crime — and vowed to expose the “systemic racism lie,” according to the BBC. Another one of his tweets claimed to expose the “incitement of violence against white people” by Jewish-owned media.
In 2017, Duke was briefly booted from Twitter and promptly blamed Jews and enemies of President Donald Trump on his radio show.
Twitter permanently banned controversial British political commentator Katie Hopkins in 2020 for violating the platform’s “hateful conduct” policy.
The conservative commentator, who boasted over a million followers on the platform, lost her “verified” status on the website before being kicked off for good.
“Keeping Twitter safe is a top priority for us — abuse and hateful conduct have no place on our service and we will continue to take action when our rules are broken,” a Twitter spokesperson said at the time.
“In this case, the account has been permanently suspended for violations of our hateful conduct policy.”
She mocked the Black Lives Matter movement, tweeting in June 2020, “Today is #whiteoutwednesday. I will shortly be posting a picture of my arse. Thank you.”
Hopkins also referred to immigrants as “cockroaches.”
L. Lin Wood, the lawyer for Kenosha killer Kyle Rittenhouse, fumed that he was “going to take Jack Dorsey’s ass down” after Twitter banned him from the platform in 2020 as he tried to raise money for his client.
Wood told Fox News of the former Twitter CEO, “He has been abusing the First Amendment of this country for his own agenda.”
“I knew they were going to censor me because I’m sending a message of hope. I’m sending a message of truth. And I’m sending a message that Kyle Rittenhouse is innocent,” he added.
Wood, who had nearly 138,000 followers on the platform, said he was blocked from tweeting for nine hours before Twitter enforced a permanent ban.