On November 18, 2022, controversial kickboxer-turned-influencer Andrew Tate had his official Twitter account, @cobratate, restored. Elon Musk, the new CEO of the social media site, defined the policy change that led to his unban as “freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach.”
In a second tweet, Musk specifically mentioned some of the accounts that had been restored, including comic Kathy Griffin, media figure Jordan Peterson, and the Babylon Bee, a conservative parody website. Additionally, when 15 million people cast their votes in a Twitter poll, he reinstalled former US President Donald Trump.
Tate appears to have been reinstated on the same policy, despite the fact that Musk avoided mentioning him by name. As more followers voted in favour of providing general amnesty to suspended accounts, with exceptions made for individuals who utilised accounts for spam or criminal conduct, more unbans are anticipated to occur:
“The people have spoken. Amnesty begins next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei.”
What about other social media channels, though? Could Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok’s recent drastic modifications be a portent of things to come for those platforms as well? Could Andrew Tate soon be allowed back on other significant platforms?
Andrew Tate is unlikely to be reinstated on other social media platforms
By using an affiliate marketing technique through Hustlers University, a collection of online courses that have been roundly denounced as a pyramid scheme, Andrew Tate’s beliefs started to gain traction online in 2022. Along with encouraging members to sign up new members, he also urged them to share videos of him expressing his opinions on TikTok and Instagram.
Following Tate’s ascent to mainstream fame in July, many people were horrified to learn that his generally regarded as harmful and misogynistic ideas were being repeated on well-known social media platforms. This led to a significant deplatforming movement, which was ultimately successful.
Tate was permanently banned from the TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram networks, all of which are controlled by Meta. However, because fan accounts continue to share his clips, he is still active on these networks.
Twitter was conspicuously absent from the list of websites that banned Andrew Tate in August. This is because he was already banned from several accounts.
Perhaps it shouldn’t have come as a surprise when Tate’s comments on the #MeToo movement led to his indefinite suspension from Twitter in 2017. He asserted that those who are sexually harassed or assaulted are at fault for the trauma they endure. He created a second account in an effort to circumvent his ban, but Twitter promptly removed it in 2021 after it was confirmed, claiming that it had done it inadvertently.
In November, Twitter had a lot of staff turnover and policy changes as a result of a change in ownership. Elon Musk, whose acquisition of the platform was completed around the end of October, pledged significant improvements to the platform’s free speech policies. He restored a number of well-known accounts on November 18, including Andrew Tate’s.
The reinstatement coincided with a change in Twitter policy that said that nasty and unfavourable tweets could still be seen by some users but would be “max deboosted and demonetised.” Musk assured users that these tweets would not appear in their feeds unless they specifically searched for them.
The modification, as with practically every other choice made since Musk took control of the platform, drew strong criticism. The new Twitter CEO uploaded a graph on his page, stating that since the adjustment, the number of impressions on abusive messages has decreased by a third.
If this regulation is effective in reducing hate speech on social media, it’s feasible that other sites like Facebook and Instagram will adopt a similar policy.
Adopting these modifications would not always result in the reinstatement of accounts that had been blocked for using hate speech on other sites, unlike Musk’s Twitter. Musk made clear the ideological justifications for his desire to acquire Twitter throughout his acquisition campaign.
When it comes to popular social media platforms, Twitter seems to be an exception lately. Andrew Tate is unlikely to be hired by any big platform very soon, barring the appearance of a Musk-like character who buys them.