The Twitter handle of former US President Donald Trump was back up again after the social media company’s new owner Elon Musk announced that the account will be reinstated after he ran a poll in which users narrowly backed the move.
Trump was permanently suspended from the social media site by Twitter’s previous management in January 2021, just days after the attempted insurrection by pro-Trump supporters at the US Capitol on January 6. 2021. Trump’s supporters attacked the Capitol as the US Congress attempted to certify Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election.
“The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated. Vox Populi, Vox Dei,’ Musk tweeted on Saturday.
Musk had run an online poll asking whether Trump’s account should be reinstated on Twitter. In the poll that received 15,085,458 votes, 51.8 per cent voted yes and 48.2 per cent were against reinstating the former US President’s Twitter account.
Trump’s Twitter account appeared to be back as of Saturday evening and the last tweet was dated January 8, 2021, in which Trump said, “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.” Twitter’s top lawyer, Indian-American Vijaya Gadde was at the forefront of the dramatic decision to suspend the former US President’s Twitter account.
Gadde had tweeted that the “account of @realDonaldTrump has been permanently suspended from Twitter due to the risk of further violence. We’ve also published our policy enforcement analysis – you can read more about our decision here”, linking to a Twitter blog post about the company’s decision to permanently suspend Trump’s Twitter account through which he communicated to his more than 88 million followers.
Gadde, CEO Parag Agrawal, legal executive Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal and General Counsel Sean Edgett were among the top Twitter executives fired by Musk immediately after he took control of the social media company following a 44 billion-dollar acquisition.
At the time when Trump’s Twitter account was reinstated, it showed that he had one million followers and that number quickly grew to 2.1 million in just under 30 minutes.
Asked on Saturday what Trump thought of Musk purchasing 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 the Republican Jewish Coalition meeting. “You see what’s going on. It may make it, it may not make it.”
till, Trump said he liked Musk and “liked that he bought (Twitter.)”
“He’s a character and I tend to like characters,” the former president said of Musk. “But he’s smart.”
Throughout Trump’s White House tenure, Twitter was central to his presidency, a fact that also benefited the company in the form of countless hours of user engagement.
Twitter often took a light-touch approach to moderate his account, arguing at times that as a public official, the then-president must be given wide latitude to speak.
On being asked whether he plans to return to Twitter, the former president said he may not.
“I don’t see it because I do not see any reason for it,” Trump said.
He said he would stick with his new platform Truth Social, the app developed by his Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG) startup, which he said had better user engagement than Twitter and was doing “phenomenally well”.
He said that the engagement at Truth Social is much better than Twitter and it is taking care of voices. It is very “powerful and strong”.
Trump further said that, Truth Social has taken a place for a lot of people and he doesn’t see them going back on Twitter.
Trump declines return
The former president of the United States of America, Donald Trump, has insisted that he had no interest in returning to Twitter even as a slim majority voted in favour of reinstating the former US President, who was banned from the social media service for inciting violence, in a poll organised by the new owner, Elon Musk.
Slightly over 15 million Twitter users voted in the poll with 51.8 per cent voting in favour of reinstatement.
“The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated,” Musk tweeted.
Trump’s Twitter account, which had over 88 million followers before he was banned on January 8, 2021, began accumulating followers and had nearly 100,000 followers by 10 pm on Saturday.
Some users initially reported being unable to follow the reinstated account on Saturday evening.
“I don’t see any reason for it,” the former president said via video when asked whether he planned to return to Twitter by a panel at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership meeting.
He said he would stick with his new platform Truth Social, the app developed by his Trump Media & Technology Group startup, which he said had better user engagement than Twitter and was doing “phenomenally well”.
Twitter did not respond to a request for comment. Trump, who on Tuesday launched a bid to regain the White House in 2024, praised Musk and said he had always liked him.
But Trump also said Twitter suffered from bots, and fake accounts and that its problems were “incredible”.
Musk first said in May he planned to reverse the ban on Trump, and the timing of any return by Trump was closely watched – and feared – by many of Twitter’s advertisers.