Elon Musk is reinstating Donald Trump’s Twitter account, ending a ban that was instituted on the social media site two days after the former president’s followers stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
The new Twitter owner made the decision after conducting a poll asking Twitter users to vote “yes” or “no” about whether Trump should be allowed back on the site. In the poll, 52 percent voted in the affirmative.
“The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated. Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk tweeted. He used the Latin phrase, which translates to: “the voice of the people, the voice of God.”
The decision — like many of Musk’s recent ones pertaining to his shiny new bird toy — seemed to be off-the-cuff, given he had previously said that no major content decisions would be made prior to the convening of a “content moderation council,” as TechCrunch notes. The council does not appear to be functioning yet.
Whether Trump will return to the platform is another story. While he embraced Twitter as a place to spew pretty much every thought that passed through his mind while he had free rein, he has previously said he would not return to Twitter and has been spending time on the smaller social media platform he launched in response to his ban, Truth Social.
“I am staying on Truth [Social]. I like it better, I like the way it works, I like Elon, but I’m staying on Truth,” he told Fox News Digital last month.
On Saturday, during a video speech Trump delivered at a Republican Jewish group meeting in Las Vegas, he acknowledged Musk had launched the poll, but said he saw problems with the platform, per Bloomberg via The Associated Press.
“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 said, via Bloomberg. “It may make it, it may not make it,” he added.
On Saturday, he also cited his own platform as the better alternative, as The Washington Post reports. “Truth Social has taken the place for a lot of people, and I don’t see them going back onto Twitter.”
While Trump has recently appeared publicly cordial with Musk, behind closed doors, Trump is said to be enjoying the fallout as Musk is being dragged for his snap decisions and the maelstrom that has followed, two sources familiar with the situation told Rolling Stone. Musk has recently reportedly fired his communications department, issued ultimatums that led to a mass exodus of resignations, and executed other unpopular decisions. Trump sees Musk’s Twitter mishaps as an opportunity for Truth Social to gain more followers, per the sources.
It remains to be seen if any rivalry between Trump and Musk can circumvent the draw that 238 million daily active Twitter users (which offers much more opportunity for potential engagement; in comparison, he only has 4 million followers on Truth Social) might hold for Trump as he carves out his next presidential campaign.
This is a developing story…