Almost two years after Twitter suspended former President Donald Trump for glorifying violence in response to the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, Elon Musk has brought back Trump’s account.
“People’s voices have been heard. Musk tweeted late on Saturday that Trump will be reinstated, with the Latin phrase “Vox Populi, Vox Dei” (the voice of the people is the voice of God).”
As recently as yesterday, Musk polled his Twitter followers on the question of whether or not Trump’s account should be restored. Out of more than 15 million votes cast, 51.8% think the former president should take the stage again.
Musk expected “extreme hardcore” effort from his workforce, so he fired almost half of them, top-level executives like Segal resigned, and more people have left the company this week.
Back in May, Musk claimed he would re-admit Trump to the platform, but after the purchase closed, he said he would delegate authority to a “content council” to decide whether or not to block problematic accounts. Apparently that’s no longer the case, since he restored the accounts of Kathy Griffin, Jordan Peterson, and the Babylon Bee over the weekend. Account suspended” has been removed from @realDonaldTrump, which has been down since January 9, 2021. Trump hasn’t tweeted anything new yet; his last tweet was about how he wouldn’t be attending President Joe Biden’s inauguration.
Twitter CFO Ned Segal stated in February 2021 that Trump’s ban on the platform would be permanent, regardless of whether or not he campaigned for government again. However, it was before Musk paid $44 billion to purchase the firm. With the SpaceX and Tesla CEO at the helm, things have been rocky since he took over in late October.
Trump claimed earlier this year that he wouldn’t come back to Twitter if asked. He then told Fox News, “I am not going on Twitter, I am going to stay on Truth [Social]. In response to being banned from Facebook, YouTube, and other platforms on January 6, Trump launched a competing social media platform called Truth Social. On Saturday night, Trump has not mentioned Twitter in any True Social posts.
The announcement follows Trump’s recent declaration that he will seek the presidency again in 2024. His business transactions, his handling of confidential data after he left office, and his involvement in the attack on January 6th are all under scrutiny.
Attorney General Merrick Garland of the United States announced on Friday that a Special Counsel would be appointed in connection with two ongoing criminal investigations: one into whether any person or entity unlawfully interfered with the transfer of power following the 2020 presidential election or the certification of the Electoral College vote, and another into possible obstruction of the documents investigation.
Meanwhile, in 2021, Trump was banned from Twitter for not acting swiftly to stop the bloodshed on Capitol Hill. Hours passed until he finally told the throng to “remain peaceful.” About half an hour later, he added, “No violence!” He also shared a video, which has since been removed, in which he reportedly told the crowd, “We adore you, you’re really unique.”
In a statement at the time, Twitter noted that Trump’s tweets “must be viewed in the context of wider events in the country and the ways in which the President’s words might be mobilized by diverse audiences, including to promote violence.”
This trend included Trump’s repeated false assertions that Joe Biden was not elected president in 2020 and that the election had been stolen. You may now again read the tweets, including one from the morning of January 6, 2021, in which the then-former vice president was asked to show “great bravery” by calling for ballots to be sent “back to the States.” An outraged mob broke into the US Capitol a few hours after the tweet was sent, with some members of the crowd yelling “hang Mike Pence”