Elon Musk restores Donald Trump’s Twitter account



CNN
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The Twitter account of former US President Donald Trump has been restored on the platform.

The account, which was banned by Twitter after the January 6, 2021, attack on Capital, was reinstated after Twitter CEO and new owner Elon Musk posted a poll on Twitter on Friday night, asking users of the platform whether Trump should be reinstated.

“The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated,” Musk tweeted Saturday night. “Vox populi, vox Dei,” Latin for “the voice of the people is the voice of God.”

Final election results on Saturday night showed 51.8% in favor and 48.2% against. The poll included 15 million votes.

The new owner’s highly anticipated decision sets the stage for the former president’s return to the social media platform where he was previously its most influential, if controversial, user. With nearly 90 million followers, his tweets have often rocked the markets, set the news cycle and moved the agenda in Washington.

Trump previously said he would rather stay on his platform Truth Social than rejoin Twitter, but his change of approach could have major political ramifications. The former president announced this month that he would seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, aiming to become only the second commander in chief elected to two non-consecutive terms.

Asked Saturday what he thought about Musk buying Twitter and his future at the platform, Trump praised Musk but questioned whether the site would survive its current woes.

“They have a lot of problems,” Trump told a meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas. “You see what’s happening. It might make it, it might not make it.

Nevertheless, Trump said he likes Musk and “likes that he bought (Twitter.)”

“He’s a character and I like characters,” the former president said of Musk. “But she’s smart.”

During Trump’s White House tenure, Twitter was central to his presidency, a fact that benefited the company in the form of countless hours of user engagement. Twitter often took a lighter touch approach to moderating his account, at times arguing that as a public official, the then-president should be given broad freedom of speech.

But as Trump neared the end of his term — and was increasingly tweeting misinformation alleging election fraud — the balance shifted. The company began placing warning labels on his tweets in an effort to correct his misleading claims ahead of the 2020 presidential election. And after the US Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, the platform banned him indefinitely.

Twitter said at the time, “After closely reviewing recent tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context surrounding them, we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further inciting violence.” “In light of the horrific events this week, we made it clear on Wednesday that additional violations of the Twitter Rules will likely result in this action.”

The decision came after two tweets from Trump that, according to Twitter, violate the company’s policy against the glorification of violence. The tweet, Twitter said at the time, “should be read in the context of wider events in the country and the way the president’s statements can be mobilized by different audiences, including inciting violence as well as out of context.” Pattern of behavior with this account over the weeks.”

The first tweet – a statement about Trump’s supporters, whom he called “the 75,000,000 great American patriots who voted for me” – suggested that he “plans to continue supporting, empowering and shielding those who win the election,” Twitter said.

The second, which indicated that he did not plan to attend Joe Biden’s inauguration, could be seen as another statement that the election was not valid and could be interpreted as Trump saying that The inauguration would be a “safe” target for violence because he would not be attending, according to Twitter.

Shortly after Trump’s Twitter ban, he was also banned from Meta’s Facebook and Instagram, which could also reinstate his accounts until January 2023.

On November 18, Musk tweeted that he had reinstated several controversial accounts on the platform, but that “Trump’s decision is not made yet.”

“The new Twitter policy is freedom of speech, but not freedom of access,” he said at the time. “Negative/hate tweets will at most be deboosted and monetized, so Twitter will not generate any advertising or other revenue. You won’t find the tweet unless you specifically search for it, which is no different from the rest of the internet.

Musk has previously said he disagrees with Twitter’s permanent ban policy, and may also return other accounts removed from the platform for repeated violations of the rules.

“I think it was not right to ban Donald Trump; I think it was a mistake,” Musk said at a conference in May, pledging to reverse the ban had he become owner of the company.

Jack Dorsey, who was Twitter’s CEO 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, he said, was a “business decision” and it “shouldn’t have happened.”

Trump’s decision is the latest in a series of major changes Musk has made to Twitter, including ousting its top leadership and a significant portion of its staff.

Musk also launched an updated subscription service that allows users to pay to receive a verification checkmark, an indicator previously reserved for certified public figures, which was quickly misused and used to target prominent people, businesses and individuals. Used to impersonate government agencies. Twitter halted the service and plans to restart it later this month.

And on Friday, he said he would restore the accounts of three controversial, previously banned or suspended users: Canadian podcaster Jordan Peterson, right-wing satire website Babylon Bee and comedian Kathy Griffin.

The chaos has spooked many of Twitter’s major advertisers, who are wary of running their ads alongside potentially objectionable content, threatening the company’s core business model. Macy’s, Volkswagen Group, General Mills and other big brands have all paused advertising, leading to what Musk said earlier this month was a “huge drop in revenue.” And reinstating Trump on the platform is unlikely to help.

NAACP President Derrick Johnson called on advertisers still funding Twitter to immediately halt all ad purchases.

In a statement, Johnson said, “In Elon Musk’s Twittersphere, you can incite an insurrection at the US Capitol, which has led to the deaths of many people, and still be allowed to carry out hate speech and violent conspiracies.” Is.” “If Elon Musk continues to run Twitter like this, using garbage polls that do not represent the needs of the American people and our democracy, then God help us all.”

In an apparent attempt to reassure advertisers and users, Musk previously stated that he would implement a “Content Moderation Council” to help set policies, and that no major content moderation decisions would be made before then. There is no indication that any such group was involved in the move to reinstate Trump, nor are the other users who were back on the platform on Friday.

In an op-ed published Friday in the New York Times, Twitter’s former head of trust and security, Joel Roth, who left the company last week, said that despite the billionaire’s promises to involve others in important decisions, ” Mr. Musk has made it clear that at the end of the day, he will make the decision.”

Any increase in traffic to Twitter due to Trump’s reinstatement could put technical pressure on the platform that would coincide with the World Cup, which is typically one of the site’s biggest viewership events.

“Twitter Servers Are Going Out” [put] Just going through quite a stress test by @elonmusk,” Mr. Rama Krishnan, an investor who is assisting Musk as part of the Twitter leadership team, tweeted Saturday night.

The mass worker exit at the company had prompted users as well as some employees to question whether the platform could suffer outages or other issues. Already, Twitter has experienced some glitches in recent days, including with its feature that allows users to download their data from the site.

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