Image of Donald Trump alongside image of his blocked Twitter account
San Francisco judge rejects Trump lawsuit challenging Twitter ban. Source: The Guardian

Donald Trump’s Twitter account restored by Elon Musk

On Saturday, billionaire- investor and new Twitter CEO Elon Musk announced that he will restore the Twitter account of former President Donald Trump, who was previously banned from the social media platform.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

Late on Friday evening, Musk ran a straw poll on Twitter asking his followers to vote on whether to restore former U.S. President Donald Trump’s account on the platform. The poll ran for a day.

When the poll ended, Musk shared a tweet saying, “The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated. Vox Populi, Vox Dei”, which means “the voice of the people is the voice of god.”

Following the poll in his favour, Trump’s account went live on Twitter, but the former president had so far not issued any new posts to the social media platform immediately after his Twitter ban was lifted by the new CEO.

File photo: Jack Dorsey and Elon Musk
File photo: Jack Dorsey and Elon Musk

Under the ownership of Jack Dorsey, Twitter had imposed a lifetime ban on President Donald Trump’s account in January 2021.

Donald Trump’s account was initially suspended by Twitter on January 6, 2021, after the uprising at the U.S. Capitol where his supporters protested and disrupted lawmakers during the formal counting of Electoral College votes.

At the time, Twitter issued a tweet saying that it took the step “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”

Trump's resignation
Police officers stand guard as supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather in front of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

After being banned from Twitter, and other social platforms including Facebook, Trump formed his own social networking site.

Earlier this year, Trump said he would not return to the social media platform even if the ban gets lifted by Musk.

In April, the former president told CNBC’s Joe Kernen after news of the deal that though he likes Musk, he was “disappointed by the way I was treated by Twitter. I won’t be going back on Twitter.”

Musk had portended his decision to reinstate Trump’s account back onto the platform back in May, shortly after he first agreed to buy the company. At FT Live’s Future of the Car conference, Musk said he “would reverse the permanent ban” if the deal went through.

At the time, Musk said, “Permanent bans should be extremely rare and really reserved for accounts that are bots, or scam, spam accounts… I do think it was not correct to ban Donald Trump. I think that was a mistake, because it alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice.”

The move to reinstate the former President’s account comes shortly after he announced his third campaign for the White House. Although, he is underdoing federal investigation for his handling of classified documents and his role in an attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.

President Joe Biden
President Joe Biden and Donald Trump

In response to Musk’s decision, conservative  radio host Erick Erickson tweeted, “There goes Georgia.”
In October, Trump had praised Twitter’s new ownership under Elon Musk. On his social media platform Truth, he wrote, “I am very happy that Twitter is now in sane hands, and will no longer be run by Radical Left Lunatics and Maniacs that truly hate our country.”
On Oct. 28, after Musk took over Twitter, he wrote on the platform that, “Twitter will be forming a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints. No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes.”
However, until now, Musk has not revealed anything about a content moderation council or who is participating in it.
The news of Trump’s return on Twitter has caused alarming concerns for the members of President Joe Biden’s inner circle and his strategists. Biden had earlier expressed his concern for the spread of misinformation on the social media platform after Musk’s arrival.
The White House did not respond to CNBC’s request for a comment.