Enroll to our Evening Headlines email in your each day guide to the newest news
Enroll to our free US Evening Headlines email
Donald Trump’s Twitter account has been reinstated by Elon Musk after it was banned for nearly two years.
Mr Musk announced on Saturday evening that he would reinstate the previous president’s account after it was banned for inciting violence within the wake of the 6 January rebellion, a move that was previously described as everlasting.
“The people have spoken,” the brand new Twitter boss wrote late on Saturday. “Trump will likely be reinstated.”
The billionaire added “Vox Populi, Vox Dei”, a Latin phrase meaning “the voice of the people is the voice of God”.
Shortly after the announcement, Mr Trump’s account reappeared on Twitter and all of his previous tweets also reappeared. It seems to have been restored with no followers and following no accounts, but inside minutes the variety of followers began rising dramatically into the lots of of 1000’s.
The previous president had greater than 88 million followers before he was banned on 8 January 2021.
Mr Trump’s last tweet was posted on 8 January last 12 months, reading: “To all of those that have asked, I is not going to be going to the inauguration on January twentieth.”
The Independent has contacted Twitter for further comment on the choice, and whether it marks a change to the corporate’s user guidelines or ban process.
The previous president’s account was “permanently” banned from the social media platform in January 2021 after the 6 January riots on the US Capitol.
The positioning took the drastic step “on account of the danger of further incitement of violence”, Twitter said on the time.
Mr Trump appeared to snub Twitter on Saturday after Mr Musk’s announcement. When he was asked by a panel on the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership meeting whether he planned to return to Twitter, he said: “I don’t see any reason for it.”
On Friday, Mr Musk polled Twitter users as as to if Mr Trump ought to be let back on the platform.
A majority of greater than 15 million respondents voted yes.
Mr Trump encouraged his supporters to vote to reinstate his Twitter account, but suggested he would stay on Truth Social, the platform he founded after being banned.
“Vote now with positive, but don’t worry, we aren’t going anywhere,” Mr Trump wrote. “Truth Social is special!”
The Independent has contacted Mr Trump for further comment.
Previously, Mr Musk suggested Twitter would form a content moderation council with “diverse viewpoints” before deciding on Mr Trump and other controversial accounts. It’s unclear if that council ever met.
Conservatives celebrated Mr Musk’s decision.
“President Trump must have never been banned in the primary place,” far-right member of Congress Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted on Saturday. “Interesting it took a poll to make a decision to reinstate him.”
One among representative Greene’s own Twitter accounts was permanently banned in January for spreading Covid-19 misinformation.
Critics have warned that Mr Musk’s leadership would empower right-wing forces on Twitter.
Angelo Carusone, president of liberal media watchdog group Media Matters for America, said Twitter could develop into “a supercharged engine of radicalisation if he follows through with even a fraction of what he has promised”.
The choice marks the newest controversial step since Mr Musk assumed full control of Twitter in October after a turbulent $44bn (£37m) buyout marred by lawsuits and social media sparring with Twitter executives.
Since then, the platform has seen a mass exodus of employees and advertisers as fake accounts proliferate and Twitter controversially suggested it could begin charging monthly fees for the “blue check” verification system.
The variety of tweets with racial slurs has soared because the takeover, based on research from the Centre for Countering Digital Hate.
Twitter has reinstated other previously suspended accounts, reminiscent of that of right-wing professor Jordan Peterson and comedian Kathy Griffin.