Elon Musk reinstated Donald Trump’s account on Twitter on Saturday, reversing a ban that has kept the former president off the social media site since the Capitol incursion on Jan. 6, 2021.
“The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated. Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk tweeted, using a Latin phrase meaning “the voice of the people, the voice of God.”
The people have spoken.
Trump will be reinstated.
Vox Populi, Vox Dei. https://t.co/jmkhFuyfkv
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 20, 2022
Shortly afterward Trump’s account, which had earlier appeared as suspended, reappeared on the platform complete with his former tweets, more than 59,000 of them. However his followers were gone, at least initially.
It is not clear whether Trump would actually return to Twitter. An irrepressible tweeter before he was banned, Trump has said in the past that he would not rejoin even if his account was reinstated. He has been relying on his own social media site, Truth Social, which he launched after being blocked from Twitter.
And on Saturday, during a video speech to a Republican Jewish group meeting in Las Vegas, Trump said that he was aware of Musk’s poll but that he saw “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 was quoted as saying by Bloomberg. “It may make it, it may not make it,” he added, apparently referring to Twitter’s recent internal upheavals.
The prospect of restoring Trump’s presence to the platform follows Musk’s purchase last month of Twitter. Musk has frequently expressed his belief that Twitter had become too restrictive of freewheeling speech.
Musk has taken many actions to reshape the company. He has fired many of the company’s 7,500 full-time workers and an untold number of contractors. His demand that remaining employees pledge to “extremely hardcore” work triggered a wave of resignations, including hundreds of software engineers.
Users have reported seeing increased spam and scams on their feeds and in their direct messages, among other glitches, in the aftermath of the mass layoffs and worker exodus. Some programmers who were fired or resigned this week warned that Twitter may soon fray so badly it could actually crash.
Musk’s online survey, which ran for 24 hours before ending Saturday evening, concluded with 51.8 percent of more than 15 million votes favoring the restoration of Trump’s Twitter’ account. It comes four days after Trump announced his candidacy for the presidency in 2024.
After the Jan. 6 incursion, Trump was also kicked off Facebook and Instagram, which are owned by Meta Platforms, and Snapchat. His ability to post videos to his YouTube channel was also suspended. Facebook is set to reconsider Trump’s account suspension in January.
In a speech at an auto conference in May, Musk asserted that Twitter’s ban of Trump was a “morally bad decision” and “foolish in the extreme.”
Earlier this month, Musk, who completed the $44 billion takeover of Twitter in late October, declared that the company wouldn’t let anyone who had been kicked off the site return until Twitter had established procedures on how to do so, including forming a “content moderation council.”
On Friday, Musk tweeted that the suspended Twitter accounts for the comedian Kathy Griffin, the Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson and the conservative Christian news satire website Babylon Bee had been reinstated. He added that a decision on Trump had not yet been made. He also responded “no” when someone on Twitter asked him to reinstate Alex Jones’ account.
In a tweet 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 to be “negative” or to include “hate” would be allowed on the site but would be visible only to users who specifically searched for it. Such tweets also would be “demonetized, so no ads or other revenue to Twitter,” Musk said.
The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.
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