Donald Trump has been allowed to return to his long-time social media app of choice: Twitter.
twitter New CEO and owner Elon Musk, Announcing the decision in a tweet Saturday night, it was an uncharacteristic departure from the company’s previous permanent suspension of the former president.The decision comes days after Trump declare candidacy for president In the 2024 election.
Musk’s tweet followed a poll he tweeted on Friday that said, “reinstate former President Trump,” asking users to vote “yes” or “no.” . When Musk announced his decision, some 52% of the more than 15 million respondents to his poll voted in favor of bringing Trump back, while 48% voted against.
Shortly after Musk’s announcement, Trump’s account became active and his tweets became visible again. As of Saturday evening, Trump had not posted any new tweets.
Previously tweeted ban trump It will become permanent in early 2021 after the former president was accused of encouraging violence during the Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol. The company called its ban a “risk of further incitement to violence.”
Musk’s decision is destined to be as polarizing as Trump himself. While many conservatives welcome Trump’s return to Twitter, others see it as a threat to democracy because of his past behavior on the platform. The decision also showcases Musk’s unique sway over major social media platforms.
Musk initially said he will restore trump At the time, he was still negotiating a deal to buy the company in May 2021. But he has since said he will wait to restore any major accounts until he has formed a “content review committee” to advise. There has been no announcement about such a committee, and it appears Musk has not followed through on the plan.
Trump previously said he would not return to Twitter if given the chance Because he’d rather stay on social media app Truth Social He founded it in February. But there are reasons to be skeptical. Trump’s Twitter following has increased by tens of millions: he peaked at 88 million on Twitter, compared with just under 4 million on Truth Social in September. Twitter could also provide a better ability to reach not only his fans but also his haters.
“He could be the fox in the henhouse again, so to speak,” Katie Harbass, a social media policy consultant and former Facebook public policy employee, told Recode. “Twitter is where you want to be for people who don’t support you.”
Musk’s decision could also make it easier for other major social media platforms, such as Facebook, to reinstate Trump. Facebook’s parent company Meta Say It will reconsider whether Trump proposed a Risk of impending violence in January 2023.
In the months since Trump was banned from Twitter, A sharp decline The amount of people talking about him on major social media platforms. Now, with Trump returning to the platform, it remains to be seen whether the former president will command the attention he has in the past.