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Musk restores Trump to Twitter after holding an online poll


LOS ANGELES –

Elon Musk restored Donald Trump’s Twitter account on Saturday, reversing a ban that has prevented the former president from accessing the social media site since a pro-Trump mob stormed the US Capitol on June 6. January 2021, as Congress prepares to certify Joe Biden as the winner of the election.

Musk made the announcement the evening after holding a poll asking Twitter users to click “yes” or “no” on whether Trump’s account should be reinstated. The “yes” vote won, with 51.8%. Musk previously said Twitter would establish new procedures and a “content moderation board” before making a decision to reinstate suspended accounts.

“The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated. Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk wrote on Twitter, using a Latin phrase that means “voice of the people, voice of God.”

Soon after, Trump’s account, which had previously appeared to be suspended, reappeared on the platform full of his previous tweets, more than 59,000 of them. His followers were gone, at least initially, but he quickly began to get them back. However, there were no new tweets from the account as of late Saturday.

Musk restored the account less than a month after the Tesla CEO took control of Twitter and four days after Trump announced his 2024 presidential run.

It’s unclear if Trump will actually return to Twitter. In an immaculate tweet before being banned, Trump previously said he wouldn’t rejoin even if his account was reinstated. He relied on his own much smaller social media site, Truth Social, which he launched after being blocked from Twitter.

And on Saturday, in a video address before the Republican Jewish group meeting in Las Vegas, Trump said he was aware of the Musk poll but that he saw “a lot of problems with Twitter.”

“I heard we’re getting a big vote to go back to Twitter. I don’t see that because I don’t see any reason for that,” Trump said. “It might work, it might not work,” he added, seemingly referring to Twitter’s recent internal turmoil.

The prospect of restoring Trump’s presence on the platform follows Musk’s acquisition of Twitter last month – an acquisition that has raised widespread concern that the billionaire owner will allow lies and misinformation develop on the site. Musk has frequently expressed his belief that Twitter has become too restrictive on freedom of expression.

His efforts to reshape the web were both swift and chaotic. Musk has laid off many of the company’s 7,500 full-time workers and countless contractors responsible for content moderation and other important responsibilities. His asking the remaining employees to commit to “extremely hard” work caused a wave of layoffs, including hundreds of software engineers.

Users have reported seeing an increase in spam and scams on their feeds and in their direct messages, among other glitches, as a result of mass layoffs and employee migration. . Several programmers who have been fired or resigned this week have warned that Twitter could soon get so bad that it could actually collapse.

Musk’s online survey, posted on his own Twitter account, drew more than 15 million votes in the 24 hours it took.

Musk admits that the results are hardly scientific. “The army of bots and trolls may be running out of steam,” he tweeted Saturday morning. “Some interesting lessons for cleaning up future polls.”

This isn’t the first time he’s used Twitter voting to make business decisions. Last year, he sold millions of his Tesla shares after asking followers if he should sell.

US Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York responded to Musk’s poll on Trump by tweeting a video of the January 6 uprising. She tweeted on Friday that Trump was the last time Trump was on Twitter. , it “was used to incite an uprising, many people died, the Vice President of the United States was nearly assassinated and hundreds were injured but I guess that’s not enough for you to answer the question. That’s it. poll on Twitter.”

Trump lost access to Twitter two days after his supporters stormed the Capitol, shortly after the former president exhorted them to “fight fiercely.” Twitter took down his account after Trump wrote several tweets that the company said raised doubts about the legitimacy of the presidential election and raised risks for President Biden’s inauguration. .

After the January 6 attacks, Trump was also owned by Facebook and Instagram owned by Meta Platforms and Snapchat. His ability to post videos to his YouTube channel was also suspended. Facebook is set to review Trump’s suspension in January.

Throughout his presidency, Trump’s use of social media has posed a significant challenge to major social media platforms seeking to balance the public’s interest in hearing.​ from public officials with concerns about misinformation, bigotry, harassment, and incitement to violence.

But in a speech at an auto conference in May, Musk insisted Twitter’s ban on Trump was a “morally bad decision” and “absolutely stupid.”

Earlier this month, Musk, who completed a $44 billion acquisition of Twitter at the end of October, announced that the company would not allow anyone kicked out of the site to return until the end of the month. Twitter has established procedures for how to do this, including forming a “content moderation committee.”

On Friday, Musk tweeted that the suspended Twitter accounts of comedian Kathy Griffin, Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson and conservative Christian news satirical website Babylon Bee had been restored. He added that a decision on Trump has yet to be made. He also replied “no” when someone on Twitter asked him to restore the account of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

In a tweet on Friday, the Tesla CEO described the company’s new content policy as “freedom of speech, but not free access.”

He explained that a tweet that is deemed “negative” or includes “hate” will be allowed to appear on the site but will only be visible to users who have specifically searched for it. Musk said such tweets will also be “monetized, so there’s no advertising or other revenue for Twitter.”

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