Elon Musk reactivates Kanye West’s Twitter account after X rebrand

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Kanye West is pictured in May in Los Angeles.


X, formerly known as Twitter, has reinstated Kanye West’s account on the social media platform. West will not be able to monetize his account and no ads will appear next to his posts, the company told the Wall Street Journal on Saturday.

That the musician’s account was suspended in December for violating the platform’s rules on incitement to violence. The suspension followed several anti-Semitic comments made by West — who has legally changed his name to Ye — including a threat to “Go death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE.” These statements led to a quick resolution of several business deals, including partnerships with Adidas and luxury fashion house Balenciaga.

Although CNN was unable to determine at the time which tweet had been the final straw, the day before his suspension, West tweeted an altered image of the Star of David with a swastika inside.

Twitter has long been embroiled in issues of moderation, with the platform’s CEO Elon Musk describing himself as a “free speech absolutist.” After agreeing to buy the company last October, he said on Twitter would “be very reluctant to delete things” and “be very careful about permanent bans.”

But after West was suspended, Musk tweeted “I tried my best. Despite that, he again violated our rule against incitement to violence.”

In April, Twitter’s security team launched a new content enforcement strategy called “Freedom of Speech, Not Reach,” which focused on “limiting the reach of tweets that violate our policies by making the content less visible.”

This approach requires, in part, that the team “proactively prevent ads from appearing next to content” labeled as offensive.

In an update earlier this month, the security team reported that these tagged tweets “receive 81% less reach or views” than non-tagged ones, and that “more than 99.99% of tweet views are from … content that does not violate our rules .”

Twitter’s Violent Speech Policy prohibits inciting and glorifying violence, wishing harm on other people, and threatening others. But it makes some exceptions, including for “speech, satire, or artistic expression when the context expresses a point of view rather than inciting actionable violence or harm.”

“We make sure to evaluate and understand the context behind the conversation before taking action,” the policy states, adding that if a user believes their account has been wrongfully suspended, they can file an appeal.

It’s not clear if West filed an appeal or if something else led to his account being reactivated. The musician has not yet posted on the platform. CNN has reached out to Twitter and a representative for West, but has not received a response.

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