Elon Musk ends Trump's Twitter ban

Former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account was reinstated after a permanent ban in January 2021

On Friday, new Twitter owner Elon Musk published a poll on whether Trump should be allowed back on the platform. Just over 15 million people voted, with 51.8% voting to reinstate Trump on Twitter.

As of July 2022, when Twitter submitted its last file quarterly income statement before going private, the platform had around 237.8 million monetizable daily active users. Yet when Musk’s impromptu poll ended Saturday with a small portion of the consumer base, Trump’s bill was not prohibited.

“People have spoken. Trump will be reinstated. Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk tweetedciting a Latin expression that translates as “the voice of the people, the voice of God.”

Meanwhile, the former president announced this week that he will run for the nation’s highest office again in 2024.

Trump’s controversial ban came days after the January 6 riots at the US Capitol, in which rioters violently tried to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

“After careful review of recent tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context surrounding them — specifically how they are received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement to violence,” Twitter wrote in a January 2021 blog post.

Since taking over Twitter just weeks ago, Elon Musk has already done just that inverted suspensions of two high-profile accounts that were deplatformed for maliciously misgendering trans people: the conservative satirical publication The Babylon Bee and Jordan Peterson. He also unbanned Kathy Griffin, a comedian who impersonated Musk on Twitter.

When Musk initially announced his bid to take over Twitter, he did expressed his support to lift the former president’s permanent ban. Now that he owns the company, Musk uses his own Twitter account to announce policy updates on the platform.

“Twitter’s new policy is freedom of speech, but not freedom of access,” Musk tweeted yesterday before launching his poll on Trump’s account. “Negative/hateful tweets will be minimized and demonetized, so no ads or other revenue for Twitter.”

Already in his mandate, Musk left back and forth on performance of new features, so it’s challenging to take his word as the be-all and end-all of how Twitter will handle content moderation. Still, Musk is certainly setting a precedent for his Twitter leadership by letting the results of a spontaneous day-long poll dictate complex content moderation decisions.

Regardless, it’s unclear if the former president will actually return to Twitter. After being de-platformed by major social networks like Twitter, YouTube and FacebookTrump created his own social platform called A social truth. And one of the main selling points of Truth Social is that Trump is actively using it.

Image Credits: Donald Trump on Truth Social

“Vote positive now, but don’t worry, we’re not going anywhere. Truth Social is special!” the former president posted on Truth Social tonight, referencing Musk’s Twitter poll.

Truth Social debuted on iOS in February with a failed to startusing uncredited source code from Mastodon. For the next few months, the app struggled to get approved on Google Play, as Google has reportedly found multiple posts that violate the Play Store’s content policy. Internally, Truth Social’s parent company, Trump Media and Technology Group, is struggling to finish proposed merger to be taken public through a SPAC.

As of September, data from SensorTower shows that about 3.7 million users have downloaded the Truth Social app.

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