Elon Musk tweeted Saturday night that “people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated.”
The news came after a Musk poll on Twitter found that a 51.8% majority supported bringing Trump back on Twitter. Former President Donald Trump, who has vowed never to return following his Jan. 6 ban, has yet to make a statement.
“The people have spoken” Musk tweeted Moments after the poll closed before 8 p.m. Saturday night. “Trump is reinstated. Vox Populi, Vox Dei.”
That @RealDonaldTrump account was visible around just after 8 p.m. ET. His follower count reset, but it quickly added up.
Trump’s account on Truth Social, his own social media platform, has yet to post a response.
Musk started a Twitter poll late Friday and urged supporters to vote on whether to put Trump’s account back on the platform. The final results on Saturday night showed that 51.8% of the 15,085,458 votes voted “yes”.
“Vox Populi, Vox Dei” is a Latin expression roughly meaning “the voice of the people, the voice of God”. He later tweeted that about 1 million people were voting per hour.
Whether Trump would actually return to Twitter is unclear. An irrepressible tweeter before he was banned, Trump has said in the past he would not rejoin Twitter even if his account were restored. He has relied on his own much smaller social media site, Truth Social, which he started after being blocked from Twitter.
And earlier on Saturday, during a video speech before a meeting of a Republican Jewish group in Las Vegas, Trump said he was aware of Musk’s poll but saw “a lot of problems with Twitter,” according to Bloomberg.
“I heard we’re getting a big vote to come back on Twitter as well. I don’t see it because I don’t see a reason for it,” Trump said, Bloomberg reported. “It can do it, it can’t do it,” he added, apparently referring to Twitter’s recent internal upheaval.
The prospect of restoring Trump’s presence on the site follows Musk’s purchase of Twitter last month — a takeover that has sparked widespread concerns that the billionaire owner will allow purveyors of lies and misinformation to thrive on the site. Musk has frequently expressed his belief that Twitter has become too restrictive when it comes to free speech.
The billionaire’s effort to revamp the site was both rapid and chaotic. Musk has laid off many of the company’s 7,500 full-time employees and a untold number of contractors responsible for moderating content and other vital duties. His demand that remaining employees commit to “extremely hard” work sparked a wave of layoffs, including hundreds of software engineers.
Users have reported seeing increased spam and scams on their feeds and in their direct messages, among other things, following the mass layoffs and brain drain. Some programmers who were fired or terminated this week warned that Twitter could soon become so frayed that it could actually crash.
Trump lost his access to Twitter two days after his supporters stormed the Capitol shortly after the former president urged them to protest “peacefully and patriotically.” Twitter deleted his account after Trump wrote two tweets that the company said cast further doubts on the legitimacy of the presidential election and raised risks for Joe Biden’s inauguration.
Following the Jan. 6 protest, Trump was also thrown from Meta Platforms-owned Facebook and Instagram, and from Snapchat. His ability to post videos on his YouTube channel has also been suspended. Facebook will reconsider Trump’s account suspension in January.
Speaking at a car conference in May, Musk claimed Twitter’s ban on Trump was a “morally bad decision” and “extremely stupid.”
Earlier this month, Musk, who completed Twitter’s $44 billion acquisition in late October, said the company would not let anyone kicked off the site return until Twitter established procedures for doing so, including forming a ” Content Moderation”. Advice.”
Musk tweeted Friday that the suspended Twitter accounts of comedian Kathy Griffin, Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson and conservative Christian news-satire site Babylon Bee have been restored. He added that a decision about Trump has not yet been made. He also replied “no” when someone on Twitter asked him to reinstate conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ account.
In a tweet on Friday, the Tesla CEO described the company’s new content policy as “freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach.”
He explained that a tweet deemed “negative” or containing “hate” would be allowed on the site but would only be visible to users who specifically searched for it. Such tweets would also be “demonetarized, meaning no advertising or other revenue for Twitter,” Musk said.
Information from Reuters was used in this report.
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