Elon Musk restores Donald Trump’s Twitter account

Trump has said in the past that he would not rejoin Twitter even if his account were restored.

LOS ANGELES — Elon Musk restored Donald Trump’s account on Twitter on Saturday, reversing a ban that has kept the former president off the social media site since a pro-Trump mob swept the U.S. on Jan. 6, 2021 attacked the Capitol as Congress intended, certifying Joe Biden’s election victory.

Musk made the announcement in the evening after polling thas asked Twitter users to click “yes” or “no” on whether Trump’s account should be restored. The “Yes” vote won with 51.8%.

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

Shortly thereafter, Trump’s account, previously thought to be suspended, resurfaced on the platform, along with his previous tweets, more than 59,000 of them. His former followers were gone, but the account quickly amassed hundreds of thousands of them.

Whether Trump would actually return to Twitter is unclear. An irrepressible tweeter before he was banned, Trump has said in the past he would not rejoin even if his account were restored. He has relied on 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 Republican Jewish group meeting in Las Vegas, Trump said he knew about Musk’s poll but saw “a lot of problems with Twitter.”

“I heard we’re getting a big vote to go back on Twitter as well. I don’t see it because I don’t see a reason for it,” Trump added. “It can do it, it can’t do it,” he added, apparently referring to Twitter’s recent internal upheaval.

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

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

Users have reported seeing increased spam and scams on their feeds and in their direct messages, among other things, following the mass layoffs and brain drain. Some programmers who were fired or terminated this week warned Twitter soon fray so badly that it might actually fall.

musk online survey, which ran for 24 hours before ending Saturday night, ended with 51.2% of more than 15 million votes favoring restoring Trump’s Twitter account. It comes four days after Trump announced his candidacy for the presidency in 2024.

Trump lost his access to Twitter two days after his supporters stormed the Capitol shortly after the former president exhorted them to “fight like hell.” Legitimacy of the presidential election and increased risks for the Biden inauguration.

After the Jan. 6 attack, Trump was also thrown off Meta Platforms-owned Facebook and Instagram, and Snapchat. His ability to post videos on his YouTube channel has also been suspended. Facebook will reconsider Trump’s account suspension in January.

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

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

Earlier this month, Musk announced the $44 billion acquisition of Twitter at the end of October.

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

In a tweet on Friday, the Tesla 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 searched for it. Such tweets would also be “demonetarized, meaning no advertising or other revenue for Twitter,” Musk said.

https://www.kvue.com/article/news/nation-world/trumps-twitter-account-will-be-reinstated-musk-says/507-82f79d94-0ee9-44e7-9b4e-3f8e835484c5 Elon Musk restores Donald Trump’s Twitter account

Laura Coffey

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