Former US President Donald Trump’s Twitter account has been put back on the scene.
The account, which was banned by Twitter after the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, was restored after Twitter CEO and new owner Elon Musk posted a poll on Twitter on Friday night asking users of the platform whether Put Trump back.
“The people have spoken. Trump will be returned,” Musk tweeted Saturday night. “Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Latin for “the voice of the people is the voice of God.”
The results of the final poll on Saturday night showed 51.8% in favor and 48.2% against. The poll included 15 million votes.
The expected decision by the new owner sets the stage for the former president’s return to the social media platform where he was previously the most influential, if controversial, user with almost 90 million followers and tweets moved the deals often, fix the news. cycling and drove the agenda in Washington.
Trump has previously said he would stay on his platform, Truth Social, instead of returning to Twitter, but changing his approach could have major political implications. The former president announced this month that he will seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, aiming to become only the second chief executive ever elected to two non-consecutive terms.
Asked on Saturday what he thought of Musk’s purchase of Twitter and his own future on the platform, Trump praised Musk but questioned whether the site would survive its current crises.
“They have a lot of problems,” Trump said in Las Vegas at a meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition. “You see what’s going on. He may do it, he may not.”
However, Trump said he liked Musk and “liked what he bought (Twitter.)”
“He’s a character and I tend to like characters,” said former president Musk. “But he’s smart.”
During Trump’s tenure in the White House, Twitter was central to his presidency, which also benefited the company in the form of countless hours of user engagement. Twitter often took a light-hearted approach to softening his account, sometimes arguing that, as a public official, the then-President should be given wide latitude of speech.
But as Trump neared the end of his term — and increasingly tweeted misinformation alleging election fraud — the balance shifted. The company began applying warning labels to his tweets in an attempt to correct his misleading claims before the 2020 presidential election. And after the US Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, the platform banned him for an indefinite period.
“After carefully reviewing the recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context surrounding them, we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of inciting further violence,” Twitter said at the time. “In light of the horrific events this week, we made it clear on Wednesday that this course of action could result in further violations of the Twitter Rules.”
The decision followed two tweets from Trump that, according to Twitter, violated the company’s policy against the glorification of violence. The tweets, Twitter said at the time, “need to be read in the context of broader events in the country and the ways in which the President’s statements, including incitement to violence, can be mobilized by various audiences, and in the context of the pattern behavior from this account in recent weeks.”
The first tweet – a statement about Trump’s supporters, whom he called “75,000,000 amazing American patriots who voted for me” – suggested that he “plans to continue to support, empower and protect those who believe he won the election,” said Twitter. .
The latter, who indicated that he did not plan to attend the inauguration of Joe Biden, could be seen as a further statement that the election was not legitimate and could be interpreted as Trump saying that the inauguration would be a “safe” goal ” to violence as it were. not present, according to Twitter.
Shortly after Trump’s Twitter ban, he was also banned from Facebook and Instagram Meta, which could reinstate his accounts as early as January 2023.
On November 18, Musk tweeted that he had put some controversial accounts back on the platform, but that “Trump’s decision has not been made yet.”
“Twitter’s new policy is freedom of speech, but not freedom of access,” he said at the time. “Negative/hateful tweets will be maximized & displayed, so no ads or other revenue for Twitter. You won’t find the tweet unless you specifically look for it, which is no different than the rest of the Internet.”
Musk previously said he disagreed with Twitter’s permanent ban policy, and that he may also bring back other accounts that have been removed from the platform for repeated rule violations.
“I think it was wrong to ban Donald Trump; I think it was a mistake,” Musk said at a conference in May, vowing to reverse the ban if he owned the company.
Jack Dorsey, who was CEO of Twitter when the company banned Trump but has since left, responded to Musk’s comments by saying he agreed there should not be a permanent ban. Banning the former president was a “business decision,” he said, and “shouldn’t have been.”
NAACP President Derrick Johnson called on advertisers still funding Twitter to immediately stop all ad purchases.
“In Elon Musk’s Twittersphere, you can incite a riot at the United States Capitol, resulting in multiple deaths, and still be allowed to spew hate speech and violent conspiracy on his platform,” Johnson said in a statement. . “If Elon Musk continues to run Twitter like this, using garbage polls that don’t represent the American people and the needs of our democracy, God help us all.”