Donald Trump returns to Twitter thanks to Elon Musk


Donald Trump is allowed again on his longtime social media app of alternative: Twitter.

Whereas many conservatives are cheering Twitter’s decision below new proprietor Elon Musk to carry its ban on the previous president, folks aren’t completely satisfied.

Civil rights teams just like the NAACP, the Anti-Defamation League, and Colour of Change have criticized Musk’s determination to reinstate Trump, arguing that the former president’s Twitter presence poses a threat to democracy, and that Musk has been erratic and unclear in his decision-making course of. Additional fanning the flames is the truth that Twitter has additionally lifted the account suspensions of a number of controversial and far-right public figures, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Kanye West, also known as Ye. Inevitably, the sequence of choices demonstrates the singular energy that Musk, the world’s richest man, has over the key social media platform he now owns.

Musk introduced the Trump determination in a tweet on Saturday night, reversing Twitter’s everlasting ban on the previous president after his supporters stormed the capitol on January 6, 2021. The choice comes simply days after Trump introduced his candidacy for president within the 2024 election.

Musk’s determination to convey again Trump adopted a ballot he had posted Friday on Twitter saying, “Reinstate former President Trump” that permit customers vote “Sure” or “No.” On the time Musk introduced his determination, round 52 % of over 15 million respondents on his ballot voted in favor of bringing Trump again and 48 % voted towards.

Trump’s account turned lively quickly after Musk’s announcement, and his tweets turned seen once more. To date, although, Trump appears to have snubbed his previous platform of alternative. As of Monday afternoon, he had not posted any new tweets since his account was reinstated and has lately stated that he has “no intention” of returning to the platform.

No matter whether or not Trump begins tweeting once more, Musk’s determination is as polarizing as Trump himself.

Including to the priority, Twitter has reinstated the accounts of different public figures who had been suspended after posting controversial speech on Twitter, comparable to Kanye West, who beforehand tweeted he would go “defcon 3” on Jewish folks; Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson, who was suspended after misgendering a transgender actor; Andrew Tate, who tweeted that girls who’re sexually assaulted bear some duty; and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who was suspended for violating Twitter’s Covid-19 misinformation policy.

This isn’t shocking contemplating that Musk purchased Twitter with the intention of letting folks say no matter they need on the platform, so long as it isn’t unlawful. Musk, nevertheless, has deviated from his “free speech absolutist” ideology in upholding Twitter’s ban on right-wing extremist influencer Alex Jones, who promoted a conspiracy concept that the Sandy Hook college capturing, which left 20 kids useless, was a staged occasion. Musk tweeted that he has “no mercy for anybody who would use the deaths of youngsters for achieve, politics or fame.”

The truth that Musk is selectively imposing guidelines round acceptable speech on Twitter at his personal discretion has prompted criticism. Musk has lengthy signaled that he was in favor of bringing Trump again to Twitter, however he additionally stated he’d wait on reinstating any banned accounts till he had set up a “clear process” and an outside “content moderation council” with “extensively divergent views” to advise. Now, Musk has gone forward and made his determination about Trump seemingly primarily based on his personal determination and his impromptu Twitter ballot.

That has angered civil rights teams leaders, who criticized Musk’s ballot as being advert hoc and unrepresentative of the US inhabitants.

Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted that Musk is “not remotely severe about safeguarding the platform from hate, harassment and misinformation,” to which Musk replied, “Hey cease defaming me!”

Some argue that Musk’s determination to reinstate Trump may very well be inconsequential if the previous president doesn’t begin tweeting once more.

Trump has beforehand stated that he wouldn’t return to Twitter if given the prospect as a result of he’d reasonably keep on Reality Social, the social media app he based in February. Talking on the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual management assembly on Saturday simply earlier than his Twitter account was reinstated, Trump said he had “no intention” of returning to Twitter and that his personal social media app, Reality Social, had higher engagement than Twitter and is doing “phenomenally properly.” However there’s purpose to be skeptical of that. Trump has tens of tens of millions extra followers on Twitter: 88 million at his peak on Twitter versus lower than 4 million on Reality Social in September. Twitter might also supply a greater capability to attain not simply his followers however his haters, too.

“He could be the fox within the henhouse once more, so to converse” Katie Harbath, a social media coverage guide and former Fb public coverage worker, advised Recode. “Twitter is the place you need to be to needle the parents which are unsupportive.”

Musk’s determination may additionally make it simpler for different main social media platforms like Fb to reinstate Trump. Meta, Fb’s guardian firm, had stated that it will rethink whether or not Trump posed an imminent risk of violence in January 2023, and has beforehand sought recommendation from its unbiased oversight board on the matter.

Within the months after Trump was banned from Twitter, there was a precipitous drop within the quantity that individuals talked about him throughout main social media platforms. If Trump had been to return to Twitter, we may see a rise within the quantity of conversations in regards to the former president.

Replace, November 21, 4:21 pm ET: This story, initially printed on November 19, has been up to date to embody reactions to the reinstatement of Trump’s Twitter account and different notable account reinstatements.

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