Elon Musk ends Trump’s Twitter ban • TechCrunch

Former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account has been reinstated after being permanently banned in January 2021.

On Friday, Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk released a poll asking whether Trump should be allowed back on the platform. Just over 15 million people voted, with 51.8% voting to reinstate Trump on Twitter.

As of July 2022, when Twitter filed its last quarterly earnings report before going private, the platform has approximately 237.8 million monetizable daily active users. However, when Musk’s impromptu poll ended Saturday with a small fraction of the user base participating, Trump’s account was not prohibited.

“The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated. Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk he tweetedquoting a Latin phrase that translates to “the voice of men, the voice of God.”

Meanwhile, the former president announced this week that he will run for the country’s highest office once again in 2024.

Trump’s controversial ban comes days after the January 6 riots at the US Capitol, in which insurgents attempted to violently overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

“After careful consideration of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context surrounding them — specifically how they are received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further inciting violence,” it added. He wrote in a January 2021 blog post.

Since taking over Twitter a few weeks ago, Elon Musk already has it inverted inhibitions on two high-profile accounts misrepresented for maliciously misogynistic trans people: conservative satire The Babylon Bee and Jordan Peterson. It also reversed the ban on Kathy Griffin, a comedian who had impersonated Musk on Twitter.

When Musk first announced his bid to take over Twitter, he had voiced his support for overturning the former president’s permanent ban. Now that he owns the company, Musk uses his own Twitter account to announce updates to the platform’s policy.

“Twitter’s new policy is freedom of speech, but not freedom of outreach,” Musk said he tweeted yesterday before his poll on Trump’s bill began. “Negative/hate tweets will be amplified and harvested to the max, so no ads or other revenue on Twitter.”

Already in his tenure, Musk has gone back and forth about implementing new features, so it’s hard to see his word as the be-all and end-all of how Twitter will handle content moderation. But Musk is certainly setting a precedent for his leadership at Twitter by allowing the results of a spontaneous daily poll to dictate complex content moderation decisions.

Regardless, it’s unclear if the former president will actually return to Twitter. After de-platforming from major social media networks like Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, Trump created his own social platform called Truth Social. And one of the main selling points of Truth Social is that Trump actively uses it.

Image Credits: Donald Trump on Truth Social

“Vote now with positivity, but don’t worry, we’re not going anywhere. Truth Social is special!” the former president posted on Truth Social this afternoon, referring to Musk’s Twitter poll.

Truth Social made its iOS debut in February with a charming launch, using uncredited source code from Mastodon. For the next few months, the app struggled to get approved on Google Play, as Google reportedly found many posts that violated its content policies on the Play Store. Internally, Truth Social’s parent company, Trump Media and Technology Group, is scrambling to complete a proposed merger that will go public through the SPAC.

As of September, data from SensorTower shows that about 3.7 million users had downloaded the Truth Social app.

This story is evolving…

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