It is hard to say where we are in the evolution/devolution of Xitter under the leadership of Elon Musk. But in the absence of a robust human team dealing with content moderation, odd contradictions in policy are bound to occur.

On Monday, Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of deceased Russian dissident Aleksei Navalny, created a new account on X and posted a dramatic video message, saying in Russian that she would take up her late husband's cause — days after it was first reported that Navalny had died under unknown circumstances in a Russian prison.

"In killing Aleksei, Putin killed half of me, half of my heart and half of my soul," Navalnaya said in the video. "But I have another half left — and it is telling me I have no right to give up."

The video has garnered 5.5 million views so far, but for a period of time Monday, it and the account it was posted by were disabled by the X platform. Nalvalnaya's account came up as "Account suspended," with a note suggesting it was in violation of platform rules.

We all know that Elon Musk essentially gutted the Trust and Safety team at the company formerly known as Twitter — we can't confirm how many work on the team currently — and that he claims that algorithms are doing the work of shadow-banning, essentially, all accounts that post hateful speech, and keeping their views to a minimum — though the success rate of those algorithms are up for debate.

This is all with a view toward preserving free speech, with the exception of calls to violence or illegal activity. But on Monday, some piece of the code governing content moderation on X decided that Nalvalnaya's account should be suspended.

"Our platform’s defense mechanism against manipulation and spam mistakenly flagged @yulia_navalnaya as violating our rules," X’s safety team wrote in a tweet early Tuesday, without explaining what part of the speech or the account led to the flagging. "We unsuspended the account as soon as we became aware of the error, and will be updating the defense."

Navalnaya made it known on Telegram that "Twitter has imposed restrictions on my account," and she said her account had been shadow-banned by the algorithm as well. "According to the Shadowban Test service, my tweets are not shown in searches, and if you enter my name in the search bar, my page is not recommended among recommendations."

As the New York Times reports, this all occurred not long after Lyudmila Navalnaya, Alexei Navalny's mother, posted a YouTube video of herself in front of the Arctic penal colony where her son died, publicly demanding that Vladimir Putin release her son's body to her. Her daughter-in-law has since posted the video to X as well.

It's ironic, of course, that X would, accidentally or not, try to censor Navalnaya in the style of Russia's authoritorian regime.

Meanwhile, speaking of irony, Musk was tweeting Monday about a funny response he got when asking xAI's chatbot Grok to "roast the whole idea of content moderation," specifying that it be "vulgar and sarcastic." (It should be noted that ChatGPT refuses to "roast" things.)

"Content moderation is like a digital chastity belt, keeping the internet from experiencing the full range of human expression," Grok allegedly writes. "It's like a bunch of prudes got together and decided that the world would be a better place if we all just talked about the weather and kittens. What a load of horse shit!  The internet was built on the idea of free expression, and content moderation is like a big, fat, censorship-loving middle finger to that idea."

Previously: Elon Musk Will Probably Keep Mindlessly Casting Doubt on Mail-In Ballots and Election Integrity All Year on X