Elon Musk restores Donald Trump’s Twitter account


Elon Musk reinstated former president Trump’s Twitter account on Saturday, a key move that could help the platform’s once-strongest, bluntest force regain online attention once a new presidential election begins.

“The people have spoken,” Musk wrote in a tweet, a nod to a poll recently completed on whether to reinstate the former president. Twitter users voted about 52 percent to 48 percent to restore Trump’s account.

Musk previously said he disagreed with the ban and intended to bring Trump back. But after buying Twitter for $44 billion late last month, he also promised to install a content moderation council to make such decisions — saying they would likely take weeks.

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Trump had more than 88 million followers before Twitter suspended him after January 6, 2021, citing fears of violent incitement in the days after his supporters stormed the US Capitol in riots that leaving five dead and hundreds injured.

An account bearing Trump’s name reappeared on the site on Saturday, and is slowly gathering followers again. A former Twitter employee familiar with that process, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation, said banned accounts can take up to a full day to be restored to their previous state.

Musk’s move reverses one of the most important decisions in Twitter’s history. A self-described “free speech absolutist,” Musk said permanent bans undermine Twitter’s role as a limitless haven for free expression.

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In a tweeted letter the day he completed his $44 billion acquisitionMusk vowed not to turn Twitter into a “free-for-all hellscape” and said he bought the platform “because it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy way, without resorting to violence.”

However, it is not clear whether the former president will take him up on the offer. Trump addressed Musk’s poll and the subject of his account in video-linked remarks at the Republican Jewish Coalition conference Saturday in Las Vegas.

Elon Musk says he will reverse the Twitter ban on Donald Trump

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He responded coolly to the prospect of rejoining Twitter, repeating earlier statements that he would rather focus his attention on his clone website Truth Social.

“I don’t see any reason for it,” Trump said of returning to Twitter, referring to the social media network’s reported problems with bots and declining engagement. “Truth Social has taken over the place for a lot of people and I don’t see them going back to Twitter.”

While Trump took the opportunity to promote his own website, he said he appreciated the poll and welcomed Musk’s purchase.

“I like that he bought it, I always like him,” Trump said. “He’s a character, but I tend to like characters.”


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