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HomeNewsElon Musk reinstates former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account

Elon Musk reinstates former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account

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It wasn’t immediately clear if Trump would use his old account, which had 88.8 million followers. He said in April he would stick to his own social media app.

Elon Musk

Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, on Saturday announced that he was reinstating former President Donald Trump to the social media platform, nearly two years after the company suspended him, citing his role in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. 

The platform’s CEO announced the decision Saturday evening after allowing his Twitter followers and others to vote on whether to reinstate the former president, with nearly 52% of those weighing in favoring Trump’s return. The twitter poll logged more than 15 million votes.

“The people have spoken,” Musk tweeted Saturday evening. “Trump will be reinstated.”

Trump’s account returned shortly afterward.

Musk’s decision is easily his most anticipated one since he took control of Twitter on Oct. 27. It comes four days after Trump announced he would run for president in 2024. 

Twitter was central to Trump’s political rise, allowing him to broadcast his thoughts, provocations and insults to millions of fans and critics without the filter of the traditional media or anyone else. Around 2011, he began using Twitter to falsely claim that then-President Barack Obama hadn’t been born in the U.S., and later, he used Twitter as president to fire Cabinet officials and threaten North Korea. He also tweeted or retweeted a variety of false and misleading statements from Antifa conspiracy theories to false Covid treatments. At other times, he used his account to attack his critics, the mediaDemocrats and Republicans who he said were not sufficiently loyal.

Trump had 88.8 million Twitter followers when the company banned him. 

The move signals a new direction for Twitter, which in recent years has pivoted from an embrace of all-out free speech to take more aggressive action on abuse, harassment, misinformation and calls for violence. Musk has said he will loosen Twitter’s rules, although he tweeted shortly after the takeover that the platform “obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape. …”

Trump’s return also comes at a time of heightened expectations that he and other Republicans are set to renew misleading or false claims of election fraud, which Trump routinely tweeted before he lost his account. The decision to welcome Trump back carries risk for Musk, putting him in a position to be blamed for Trump’s future behavior and any potential calls to violence. 

Donald Trump

It wasn’t immediately clear how often Trump might use his old account. He told Fox News in April that even if Musk succeeded in buying Twitter, he wouldn’t go back and would instead stay on his own social media app, Truth Social. 

Earlier Saturday, when Musk’s Twitter poll was still active, the former president said in a statement, “Vote now with positivity, but don’t worry, we aren’t going anywhere. Truth Social is special!”

The former president made a virtual appearance Saturday at the Republican Jewish Coalition Annual Leadership Meeting in Las Vegas, where he reiterated his resistance to using Twitter.

“Truth Social has been very, very powerful,” Trump said. “And I’ll be staying there. But I hear we’re getting a big vote to also go back on Twitter. I don’t see it because I don’t see any reason for it.”

Trump remains suspended from other major online platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. 

Musk, the world’s wealthiest person, according to Bloomberg News, had forecast the invitation for Trump to return in May, a month after he offered to buy Twitter, when he called the expulsion “morally wrong and flat-out stupid.” 

Twitter users have fiercely debated Trump’s absence. He repeatedly tested the limits of Twitter’s rules over the years, and in 2018 the company carved out an exception to ensure “world leaders” could largely do as they pleased without getting banned. On the other hand, Trump is the Republican Party’s chief figure, and his absence from Twitter has meant the service doesn’t accurately mirror the reality of U.S. politics. 

Culled From CNN

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