Elon Musk has revived former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account, nearly two years after the company banned him for violating Twitter’s Glorification of Violence policy with his response to the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol.
“The people have spoken. Trump will be restored,” Musk tweeted Saturday night, adding “Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” which is Latin for “the voice of the people (is) the voice of God.”
Yesterday, Musk asked via a Twitter poll whether Trump’s account should be reinstated. With over 15 million votes, 51.8% of citizens said the former president should return to the platform.
The @realDonaldTrump account, which has been displaying “Account Suspension” since January 9, 2021, is now back online. Trump has yet to post any new tweets. The last thing he tweeted was a message about how he won’t be attending President Joe Biden’s inauguration.
In February 2021, Twitter CFO Ned Segal said Trump’s Twitter ban would be permanent, even if he ran again. But that was before Musk bought the company for $44 billion. He officially took over in late October, and it’s been a tumultuous few weeks with the SpaceX and Tesla CEO at the helm.
Musk fired about half the staff, top executives — including Segal — resigned and even more employees headed for the exits this week after Musk demanded employees be “extremely hard” on their jobs.
Musk said in May that he would allow Trump to return to the platform, but after the deal was finalized, he said he would leave decisions on controversial account bans to a content council. This is obviously no longer the case. this weekend, it also brought back the accounts of Kathy Griffin, Jordan Peterson and Babylon Bee.
Earlier this year, Trump said he would not return to Twitter even if asked. “I’m not going on Twitter, I’ll stick to the Truth [Social],” he told Fox News. Truth Social is the rival social network created by Trump after he was removed from most social networks, including Facebook and YouTube, after January 6. As of Saturday night, Trump had not posted anything about Twitter on Truth Social.
The news comes days after Trump announced plans to run for president in 2024. He also faces numerous investigations into his role in the Jan. 6 attack, the mishandling of classified documents after leaving office and his business dealings(Opens in a new window).
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On Friday, US Attorney General Merrick Garland announced(Opens in a new window) the appointment of a Special Prosecutor in connection with two ongoing criminal investigations: whether any person or entity illegally interfered with the transfer of power after the 2020 presidential election or the certification of the vote of the Electoral College and possible obstruction of documents investigation.
Twitter, meanwhile, banned Trump in 2021 after he failed to take swift action to quell the violence on Capitol Hill. It was hours before he asked the crowd to “be quiet”. About 30 minutes later, he added “No violence!” However, he also posted a since-deleted video of himself telling the crowd: “We love you, you’re so special.”
At the time, Twitter said Trump’s tweets “must be read in the context of broader events in the country and the ways in which the President’s statements can be mobilized by different audiences, including to incite violence, as well as in the context of the pattern of behavior from this account over the past few weeks.”
This pattern included Trump falsely insisting over and over again that the 2020 election was stolen and that Joe Biden had not been elected president. Those tweets are now back online, including one from the morning of Jan. 6, 2021, that urged former Vice President Mike Pence to show “extraordinary courage” and send votes “back to the United States.” Hours after this tweet was posted, an angry mob breached the US Capitol, with some shouting(Opens in a new window) “Hang Mike Pence.”
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