Elon Musk overturned a ban on political adverts imposed by Twitter to combat misinformation before the billionaire purchased the platform now known as X on Tuesday.
The return of possibly false political messaging on X comes less than a week after former President Donald Trump posted there for the first time since January 2021.
Trump tweeted his police mugshot following his detention in Georgia, signaling his return to a platform that served as his favorite bullhorn during his presidency.
It was his first post since several days after an outraged crowd of his followers attempted to stop Joe Biden’s certification as president at the US Capitol.
After the January 6 incident, Twitter permanently suspended Trump, ruling that he had violated the platform’s rules on glorifying violence by promoting his bogus claims that the election was stolen from him.
Musk, who purchased the site last year, reinstated the former president in November 2022, but Trump chose to reach out to his followers on his own network, Truth Social, which has a considerably smaller viewership.
In a blog post, X stated that permitting political advertisements, beginning in the United States, was “building on our commitment to free expression.”
According to the site, X regulations restrict the dissemination of incorrect or misleading information, including fake claims intended to damage trust in an election.
Trump’s most recent mug shot was accompanied by the caption “Election interference.”
A judge set Trump’s election subversion conspiracy trial for March 4, 2024, putting one of the greatest criminal cases in American history at the height of the next presidential campaign.
X said it is strengthening its safety and elections teams to counteract platform exploitation and would establish an online portal where political advertisements can be vetted.
Musk slashed staffing after buying Twitter, raising concerns about its ability to moderate content and reliably function.
X said it is updating its Civic Integrity Policy for safeguarding elections to tackle content meant to intimidate or deceive voters while aligning with a Musk’s philosophy of letting people say what they want.
“X shouldn’t determine the truthfulness of disputed information,” the platform said in the blog post.
“Rather, we should empower our users to express their opinions and openly debate during elections, in line with our commitment to protecting freedom of expression.”