Elon Musk restored the former account of President Trump via Twitter Saturday, overturning the ban that had been keeping Trump from the site for more than 22 consecutive months following a protester in support of Trump assaulted the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, when Congress was preparing to confirm Biden’s victory in the election.
Musk announced the decision following an online poll asking Twitter users to select “yes” or “no” on whether their account of Trump should be restored. “yes” votes won, with 51.8% “yes” vote won, with 51.8 percent.
“The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated. Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk tweeted in the Latin expression that means “the voice of the people, the voice of God.”
The account Trump was suspended, but it had previously appeared as suspended, was reinstated on the platform with his old tweets and more than 59,000. Their followers of his were initially absent but they were returned by the time Sunday morning came around when they reached 72 million.
It was unclear if Trump was going to return to Twitter even though his account was reinstated but he did not have a tweet at all as of late Saturday night.
Musk’s decision came just four days following the day Trump declared that he would run for president in 2024.
In a speech at an auto-related conference in May Musk stated that Twitter’s banning of Trump was a “morally bad decision” and “foolish in the extreme,” and said that Musk would not allow Trump to come back on if he purchased the company.
In late October, after the $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, Musk declared he was forming the “content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints,” adding that no account that has been blocked would be reinstated until the group is able to meet.
However, the account of Trump was reinstated with no advice from the council There was no evidence that an advisory council had yet been created. The poll, which was published on Musk’s Twitter account, attracted over 15 million people to vote over the 24 hours it was running.
As a response to this decision, NAACP President Derrick Johnson stated in a statement that “any advertiser still funding Twitter should immediately pause all advertising. If Elon Musk continues to run Twitter like this, using garbage polls that do not represent the American people and the needs of our democracy, God help us all.”
Many high-profile businesses have already stopped advertisements on Twitter after Musk’s purchase including General Mills, Eli Lilly, General Motors, and Audi.
In the evening, Musk tweeted that the suspended Twitter accounts of the comedy star Kathy Griffin, the Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson and the conservative Christian news satire site Babylon Bee had been reinstated. Musk also said that a decision regarding Trump has not been decided on. He also replied “no” when someone on Twitter demanded that he reinstate his conspiracy theory guru Alex Jones’ account.
An unstoppable tweeter before the ban, Trump has said in the past that he will not rejoin Twitter even when his account was reinstated. He relies on his own, less popular social media platform, Truth Social, which was launched following his exclusion from Twitter.
And on Saturday, in an address on the video to a Republican Jewish group meeting in Las Vegas, Trump said that Musk’s poll, but that he noticed “a lot of problems at Twitter,” according to Bloomberg.
“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 stated, Bloomberg, reported. “It may make it, it may not make it,” Trump said possibly referring to the recent turmoil within Twitter.
Trump lost their account on Twitter just two days after his supporters protested at the Capitol just hours after former President Trump advised the crowd to “fight like hell.” Twitter removed his account following Trump tweeted a couple of tweets that Twitter claimed cast doubt regarding his legitimacy in the election. They also created a risk for the Biden the inauguration of Biden.
Following the 6th of January. 6, attack Trump has also been banned from Facebook and Instagram which are controlled by Meta Platforms, and Snapchat. The ability to post videos on the YouTube Channel was taken off. Facebook is expected to review the suspension of Trump’s account in January.
Throughout his presidency, the usage of social media presented an enormous challenge to the large social networks, which attempted to balance the interest of the public in hearing from officials of the public with concerns about misinformation, discrimination, harassment, and incitement to violence.
It also comes as Trump is currently facing two criminal probes by the Justice Department. One of them is connected to his Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, another one is related to the classified documents discovered during the FBI raid in his Mar-a-Lago estate in August.
On Friday Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that he has selected an attorney special counsel to supervise the two investigations: John “Jack” Smith, who is currently the head prosecutor of the special counsel at the Hague.
The purchase by Musk of Twitter has raised concerns that the billionaire’s owner will let liars and misinformation thrive on the website. Musk often declared that Twitter was becoming too restrictive in its freedom of speech.
The billionaire’s efforts at reshaping the company’s structure have been fast and chaotic. Musk has dismissed many employees of its 7,500 full-time employees as well as an innumerable number of contractors in charge of moderation of content as well as other important tasks. His request that all employees take on “extremely hardcore” work caused a wave of resignations. This included many software developers.
As of Thursday night, the deadline Musk offered for employees to decide whether to stay or leave many had handed in their resignations, putting the company to be in “disarray,” the New York Times said.
“It’s extremely chaotic and the morale is extremely low,” Melissa Ingle, a moderator of content who recently was dismissed was quoted by CBS News’s John Dickerson on Friday.
After the deadline, an activist self-described digitally projected a series of statements praising Musk on the wall of Twitter’s San Francisco offices.
“Musk’s hellscape,” read one of the statements. “Launching to bankruptcy,” one other said.
Users have reported increased fraud and spam on their feeds as well as in direct messages, as well as other problems following the mass layoffs as well as the worker exodus. A few programmers who were dismissed or quit this week were warned Twitter could soon begin to the fray to the point that it may fail.
In a tweet on Friday in which the Tesla CEO spoke of the new policy of the company’s content in terms of “freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach.”
Musk explained that tweets considered as “negative” or to include “hate” would be allowed on the website, but will be only visible to users who specifically search for the tweet. These tweets would also have to be “demonetized, so no ads or other revenue to Twitter,” Musk stated.