SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Following a poll for the restoration of Donald Trump’s Twitter account in November where the former President won by a slim margin, Twitter CEO Elon Musk is now running another poll; allbeit for a much more serious question; whether or not two figures saught by U.S. authorites for prosecution should be pardoned; WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and whistleblower Edward Snowden.
After remaining out of grasp for several years while seeking asylum in the Embassy of Ecuador in London on unrelated alleged sexual misconduct charges, Assange, now 51, was arrested in April 2019 and currently faces extradition to the U.S. under charges brought against him by the Trump Administration relating to the Espionage Act of 1917.
The charges stem from Assange’s release – via WikiLeaks – of leaked U.S. military and Democratic Party documents, files, and emails; however, numerous media organizations have defended Assange’s actions as the rights of a free press.
Edward Snowden, 39, is a former contract employee at the National Security Agency and whistle-blower behind significant revelations that surfaced in June 2013 about the U.S. government’s top secret, extensive domestic surveillance programs. Since then, Snowden – born in America and now a naturalized Russian – has been branded both a traitor and hero for his bombshell leaks.
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On December 3, Musk introduced a new 24-hour poll asking Twitter users if the two controversial individuals should be pardoned.
“I am not expressing an opinion, but did promise to conduct this poll,” the Tesla CEO tweeted. “Should Assange and Snowden be pardoned?”
With currently over 3.3 million votes, 2.6 million Twitter users answered with a resounding yes, with 80.5 percent of them saying that Assange and Snowden should be pardoned, as opposed to just 19.5 percent voting against it.
The poll was posted just days after five major media outlets ask for the U.S. to finally end the prosecution of Julian Assange saying that “publishing is not a crime” and that revealing information previously hidden from the public was a core part of the work of a journalist.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story inaccurately indicated the poll was for account reinstatement; the story has been updated to reflect the proper reason of the user poll.