Musk's Twitter rules: A dizzying, whiplash-inducing timeline

Since Elon Musk took control of Twitter in late October, confusion over what is, and what is not allowed on the platform, even what a verified account is, has run rampant

Musk's Twitter rules: A dizzying, whiplash-inducing timeline

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Twitter has been suffused with confusion since Elon Musk took over in October. Rules and policies are subject to change every day, sometimes even hourly. Musk's leadership is not responsible for much of the Twitter activity in the past two months. This includes Musk's original complaint about the platform's bots and spam accounts.

Here's a list of some of the policy changes, confusions and events that Musk's Twitter has made famous.

October 27, 2012: Musk takes control over Twitter and fires its CEO, chief financial officer, and top attorney.

Oct. 28th: In an effort to "test" whether Twitter's misinformation policies are still being applied, some accounts circulate long-debunked conspiracy theories.


Oct. 30, Musk tweets a link about an unfounded rumor regarding the attack on Nancy Pelosi's husband. Later, he deleted the tweet.

Oct. 31, 2012: Musk fires Twitter’s board of directors, and makes himself the sole member of the board.

Nov. 3, General Mills and Audi suspend their Twitter ads. Others are concerned about Musk's content moderation and whether their brand might be tarnished by staying on Twitter.

Nov. 5th: Twitter announces a $7.99-per-month subscription service. This includes a bluecheck just before the U.S. midterm elections. The check was previously only available to verified accounts.

Nov. 6th: Musk announces that Twitter will ban any impersonation account which fails to clearly state it is a parody account after a number of fake verified accounts have started posting on the platform.

Nov. 7th: Musk encourages 'independent-minded voter' to vote Republican for the U.S. midterm elections.


Nov. 9th: Musk tries to assure big companies advertising on Twitter that his chaotic takeover will not harm their brands. He also acknowledges that some 'dumb' things might occur in the short-term. Musk creates an "official" label for Twitter accounts with high profile profiles, then removes it within hours.

Nov. 10, 2018: The Center for Countering Digital Hate discovered that tweets containing one or more racial slurs rose in number during the week following Musk's purchase of Twitter.

Nov. 11th: Twitter's relaunched blue check'verification labels for anyone willing and able to pay $8 per month were flooded with a flood of imposter accounts. One of them was Eli Lilly & Co., which tweeted that insulin was completely free. Infected accounts included those of Lockheed Martin, Musk, SpaceX, and Nintendo.


Nov. 13th: Musk continues to gut the teams fighting misinformation on Twitter, as outsourced moderators get fired.

Nov. 17, 2017: Democratic senators request federal regulators investigate possible violations by Twitter's consumer-protection laws and its data-security obligations.

Nov. 19: Donald Trump's account has been reinstated. This reverses a ban that had kept him off social media sites since a pro Trump mob attacked the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6, 2021. This decision was made based on a poll Musk sent to his followers.

Nov. 21: Twitter restores Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's personal account, which was suspended in January because it violated the COVID-19 misinformation policies.

Nov. 25, 2015: Twitter announces plans for a revamp of its premium service. It will use different colored check marks to indicate whether it is gold for companies, gray or blue for government accounts and anyone else who can afford it.


Nov. 28: Twitter ends enforcement of its COVID-19 misinformation policy.

Nov. 30, 2012: Musk is warned by a top official of the European Union that Twitter must improve its protection against hate speech, misinformation, and other harmful content in order to avoid being banned or fined.

Dec. 10, 2012: Twitter tries again to launch its premium service at $8 per month for web users. However, it's now $11 per monthly for iPhone and iPad users.

December 12th: Twitter disbands its Trust and Safety Council. This advisory group of approximately 100 civil, human rights and other organizations was created by Twitter in 2016 to address hate speech and child exploitation.

Dec. 14: Twitter suspends an Instagram account that used publicly accessible flight data to track Elon Musk’s private plane. This despite the promise of its new owner, who is a proponent of free speech principles to maintain it. Hours later, the account is restored with new rules that require all users to share any user's current location. The account is then suspended again.


Dec. 15, 2015: The accounts of journalists covering Musk are suspended. These include reporters from The New York Times and Washington Post, CNN, Voice of America, CNN, CNN, Voice of America, and others. After a Twitter poll, the accounts are restored one day later.

Dec. 19: More that half of 17.5million users who participated in a Twitter poll by Musk asking whether Musk should resign as CEO voted "yes" at the close of the poll. Musk stated that he would follow the results, but there was no immediate word from Twitter or Musk.

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