Elon Musk reinstated Donald Trump’s Twitter account on Saturday, lifting a ban that had kept the former president away from the social networking site since a pro-Trump mob att*cked the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, as Congress was due to approve Joe Biden’s election victory.
Musk announced in the evening after conducting a poll asking Twitter users to click “yes” or “no” on the reinstatement of Trump’s account. The “yes” vote won with 51.2%.
“People have spoken. Trump will be reinstated. Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk tweeted, using a Latin phrase meaning “voice of the people, voice of God.”
Musk’s online poll comes four days after Trumpfor president in 2024
It wasn’t clear if Trump would actually return to Twitter, and while his account has been restored, he hasn’t tweeted since 8:30 p.m. EST Saturday.
The unrestrained tweeter before being banned, Trump has said in the past that he will not be rejoining Twitter even if his account is reinstated. He relied on his own much smaller social network, Truth Social, which he launched after being banned from Twitter.
And on Saturday, during a video speech at a meeting of a Republican Jewish group in Las Vegas, Trump said he was aware of Musk’s poll but saw “a lot of trouble on Twitter,” according to Bloomberg.
“I heard we’re getting a big vote to get back on Twitter as well. I don’t see it because I don’t see any reason for it,” Trump said, Bloomberg reports. “It may work, it may not,” he added, apparently referring to the recent internal upheaval on Twitter.
The prospect of restoring Trump’s presence on the site follows Musk’s purchase of Twitter last month – an acquisition that has raised widespread fears that the billionaire owner will allow purveyors of lies and misinformation to flourish on the site. Musk has often expressed his belief that Twitter has become too restrictive of free speech.
The billionaire’s efforts to transform the site have been both swift and chaotic. Muskof the company’s 7,500 full-time employees and countless contractors responsible for content moderation and other key responsibilities. His demand that the staff remain triggered a wave of layoffs, including hundreds of software engineers.
By Thursday night, when Musk set deadlines for employees to stay or leave, hundreds had resigned, leaving the company “in disarray,” the New York Times writes. reported.
“It’s extremely chaotic and morale is extremely low,” Melissa Ingle, a content moderator who was recently fired, told CBS News’ John Dickerson.
Shortly after the deadline passed, a self-proclaimed activist digitally displayed statements criticizing Musk on Twitter’s San Francisco office page.
“Musk’s infernal landscape” – we read in one of the statements. “Introduction to bankruptcy,” said another.
Users reported an increase in spam and fraud in their channels and direct messages, among other things, following mass layoffs and exodus of employees. Some developers who were fired or resigned this week warned that Twitterit can actually go bad.
trumptwo days after his supporters stormed the Capitol, shortly after the former president urged them to “fight like hell.” Twitter deleted his account after Trump wrote two tweets that the company said raised further doubts about the legality of the presidential election and increased the risk of Biden’s presidential inauguration.
Following the January 6 att*ck, Trump was also banned from Facebook and Instagram, which are owned by Meta Platforms, and Snapchat. His ability to post videos on his YouTube channel has also been suspended. Facebook is set to reconsider suspending Trump’s account in January.
Throughout his presidency, Trump’s use of social media has posed a significant challenge to major social media platforms, which have struggled to balance public interest in listening to public officials with concerns about misinformation, bigotry, harassment, and incitement to violence.
But in a speech at an automotive conference in May, Musk said Twitter’s blocking of Trump was a “morally wrong decision” and “extremely stupid.”
Earlier this month, Musk, who completed the $44 billion acquisition of Twitter in late October, stated that the company would not allow anyone who had been banned from the site to return until Twitter established procedures on how to do so, including creating a “moderation board”. content”.
On Friday, Musk tweeted that the suspended Twitter accounts of comedian Kathy Griffin, Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson, and conservative Christian satirical site Babylon Bee have been reinstated. He added that a decision on Trump had not yet been made. He also replied “no” when someone on Twitter asked him to reinstate the account of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
In a tweet on Friday, Tesla’s CEO described the company’s new content policy as “free 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 “demonetized, so there’s no advertising or other revenue on Twitter,” Musk said.
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