Musk restores Trump’s Twitter account after online poll

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Musk restores Trump’s Twitter account after online poll

By ALEX VEIGAtoday

Former President Donald Trump speaks at Mar-a-Lago Friday, Nov. 18, 2022 in Palm Beach, Fla. Earlier in the day Attorney General Merrick Garland named a special counsel to oversee the Justice Department's investigation into the presence of classified documents at Trump's Florida estate and aspects of a separate probe involving the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection and efforts to undo the 2020 election. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

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Former President Donald Trump speaks at Mar-a-Lago Friday, Nov. 18, 2022 in Palm Beach, Fla. Earlier in the day Attorney General Merrick Garland named a special counsel to oversee the Justice Department’s investigation into the presence of classified documents at Trump’s Florida estate and aspects of a separate probe involving the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection and efforts to undo the 2020 election. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — 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 a pro-Trump mob attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, as Congress was poised to certify Joe Biden’s election victory.

Musk made the announcement in the evening after holding a poll that asked Twitter users to click “yes” or “no” on whether Trump’s account should be restored. The “yes” vote won, with 51.8%. Previously, Musk had said Twitter would establish new procedures and a “content moderation council” before making decisions to restore suspended accounts.

“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.”

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. His followers were gone, at least initially, but he quickly began regaining them. There were no new tweets from the account as of late Saturday, however.

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

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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, much smaller 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.”

“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 said. “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 — an acquisition that has fanned widespread concern that the billionaire owner will allow purveyors of lies and misinformation to flourish on the site. Musk has frequently expressed his belief that Twitter had become too restrictive of freewheeling speech.

Musk to restore Trump to Twitter after online poll

Elon Musk said Saturday he will reinstate Donald Trump’s account on Twitter, reversing a ban that has kept the former president off the social media site since a pro-Trump mob attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, as Congress was poised to certify Joe Biden’s election victory. (Nov. 19)

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His efforts to reshape the site have been both swift and chaotic. Musk has fired many of the company’s 7,500 full-time workers and an untold number of contractors who are responsible for content moderation and other crucial responsibilities. 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.

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