Musk restores Trump’s Twitter account after online poll


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dated: 2022-11-20 03:28:03 .

Photo: The Canadian Press

A sign is seen at Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco on Friday, Nov. 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) #

Elon Musk reinstated Donald Trump’s Twitter account on Saturday, lifting a ban that had kept the former president off the social media site since a pro-Trump mob stormed the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, as Congress prepared to confirm Joe Biden’s election victory.

Musk made the announcement in the evening after conducting a poll asking Twitter users to click “yes” or “no” on whether Trump’s account should be reinstated. The “yes” vote won with 51.8 percent. Musk previously said Twitter would establish new procedures and a “content moderation council” before making a decision to reinstate suspended accounts.

“People have spoken. Trump was reinstated. Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk tweeted, using a Latin phrase that means “voice of the people, voice of God.”

Soon after, Trump’s account, previously thought to have been suspended, reappeared on the platform, along with his previous tweets, more than 59,000 of them. His followers were gone, at least initially, but their number exceeded 2 million in about an hour and a half.

Musk reinstated the account less than a month after the Tesla CEO took control of Twitter and four days after Trump announced his candidacy for the 2024 presidential race.

It’s unclear whether Trump will actually return to Twitter. An indomitable tweeter before he was banned, Trump has said in the past that he would not rejoin even if his account was reinstated. He posted a link to his own much smaller social media site, Truth Social, which he started after being blocked from Twitter.

And on Saturday, during a video speech before a meeting of the Republican Jewish Caucus in Las Vegas, Trump said he was aware of Musk’s poll but saw “a lot of problems with Twitter.”

“I heard that we are getting a large number of votes to return to Twitter as well. I don’t see it because I don’t see the reason for it,” Trump said. “It can, it can’t,” he added, apparently referring to Twitter’s recent internal upheaval.

The prospect of renewing Trump’s presence on the platform follows Musk’s purchase of Twitter last month — a takeover that sparked widespread concern that the billionaire owner would allow purveyors of lies and misinformation to thrive on the site. Musk has often expressed his belief that Twitter has become too restrictive when it comes to free speech.

His efforts to redesign the site were swift and chaotic. Musk has laid off many of the company’s 7,500 full-time employees and countless contractors responsible for content moderation and other vital duties. His demand that the remaining employees commit to “extremely hard” work sparked a wave of layoffs, including hundreds of software developers.

Users have reported seeing increased spam and scams on their feeds and in direct messages, among other things, following mass layoffs and brain drain. Some developers who were laid off or fired this week warned that Twitter could soon be so worn down that it could actually collapse.

Musk’s online poll, posted on his own Twitter account, attracted more than 15 million votes in 24 hours.

Musk admitted that the results were not scientific. “The army of robots and trolls is about to run out of power,” he tweeted Saturday morning. “Some interesting lessons for cleaning up future polls.”

It’s not the first time he’s used Twitter polls to make business decisions. He sold millions of his Tesla shares last year after asking his followers if he should.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York responded to Musk’s Trump poll by tweeting a video in January. 6 rebellions. On Friday, she tweeted that when Trump was last on Twitter, he was “used to incite riots, several people died, the vice president of the United States was nearly killed, and hundreds were injured, but I don’t think that’s enough to answer this Question. Question. The Twitter poll is.”

Trump lost access to Twitter two days after his supporters stormed the Capitol shortly after the former president urged them to “fight like hell.” Twitter deleted its account after Trump wrote two tweets that further cast doubt on the legitimacy of the presidential election and increase the risks for Biden’s inauguration.

After January. 6 attacks, Trump was also kicked off Facebook and Instagram and Snapchat owned by Meta Platforms. He was also suspended from posting videos on his YouTube channel. Facebook will reconsider Trump’s suspension in January.

During his tenure as president, Trump’s use of social media has posed a significant challenge to major social media platforms, which have tried to balance the public’s interest in hearing from officials with concerns about misinformation, bigotry, harassment, and incitement to violence for reconciliation.

But in a speech at an automotive conference in May, Musk argued that Twitter’s ban on Trump was a “morally bad decision” and “extremely stupid.”

Earlier this month, Musk announced a $44 billion acquisition of Twitter in late October.

On Friday, Musk tweeted that the suspended Twitter accounts of comedian Kathy Griffin, Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson and the conservative Christian news and satire site Babylon Bee had been reinstated. He added that the decision about Trump has not yet been made. He also responded “no” when someone on Twitter asked him to restore the account of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

In a tweet on Friday, Tesla’s CEO described the company’s new content policy as “freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach.”

He explained that a tweet deemed “negative” or containing “hate” would be allowed on the site, but would only be visible to users who specifically requested it. Such tweets would also be “demonetized, meaning Twitter would have no advertising or other revenue,” Musk said.

The final vote was 51.8 percent,


Musk restores Trump’s Twitter account after online poll

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