Donald Trump’s Twitter account appeared to come back online after a narrow majority of votes were cast in Elon Musk’s Twitter poll in support of re-allowing the former US president, who was barred from the social media platform following the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.
In the survey, little more than 15 million ballots were cast, with 51.8 per cent in favour of restoration.
“The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated,” Musk tweeted. During the poll, Musk acknowledged the vote numbers were being affected by automated “bots”, which are not people, and suggested there was a need to “clean up” Twitter polls from being influenced by “bot and trolls armies”.
Earlier in the day, Trump didn’t seem all that eager to go back on Twitter. The former president was asked about it by a panel at the annual leadership meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition, and he responded via video, “I don’t see any reason for it.”
He declared that he would continue to use his brand-new platform Truth Social, an application created by his startup Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG).
Following the assault on the US Capitol on January 6, Twitter made the remarkable decision to ban Trump, claiming that his postings were “very likely to incite and inspire individuals to mimic the criminal acts that took place at the US Capitol.”
Trump announced his effort to win the presidency back in 2024 on Tuesday and hailed Musk, saying he had always admired him. Trump said that Twitter’s issues were “extraordinary” and that it was plagued by bots and false accounts.
Musk’s self-described reputation as a “free speech absolutist” increased the potential that he might lift the restriction on users whose Twitter accounts had been permanently suspended from the network even as Musk was still finishing up his acquisition of Twitter. Experts on hate speech and disinformation have been preparing for the return of Trump, who accumulated more than 88 million followers during his first tenure on the network.
Musk first stated in May that he intended to lift the ban on Trump, and many of Twitter’s advertisers were anxiously awaiting the timing of any comeback by the president.
Musk hoped to convince consumers and advertisers that such a choice would be carefully considered by a content moderation committee made up of individuals with “widely different perspectives” and that no account reinstatements would take place before the panel convened.
He said that unless there was a “clear process for doing so,” Twitter would not allow any banned users to reapply.
And this week, Musk unexpectedly allowed comic Kathy Griffin to return after she had been suspended for violating his new policy against impersonation by changing her profile name to “Elon Musk” without making it clear that it was a parody account. Regarding the moderation council or the reinstatement procedure, nothing has changed.