Musk: ‘People have spoken; Trump will be reinstated; Vox Populi, Vox Dei’

Elon Musk tweeted Saturday night that “the people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated.”

The news came after a poll conducted by Musk on Twitter showed a 51.8% majority in favor of bringing Trump back to Twitter. Former President Donald Trump, who has vowed never to return after being suspended after Jan. 6, has yet to make a statement.

“The people have spoken,” Musk tweeted moments after the poll closed before 8 p.m. Saturday night. “Trump will be reinstated. Vox Populi, Vox Dei.”

The @RealDonaldTrump account was visible by shortly after 8 p.m. ET. His follower count was reset, but it was quickly rising.

Trump’s account on Truth Social, his own social media platform, has yet to respond.

Musk started one Twitter survey late Friday, asking followers to vote on whether to reinstate Trump’s account on the platform, with Saturday night’s final results showing 51.8% voting “Yes” out of 15,085,458 votes.

“Vox Populi, Vox Dei” is a Latin phrase that roughly means “the voice of the people, the voice of God.” He later tweeted that about 1 million people voted every hour.

It is not clear whether Trump would actually return to Twitter. An unstoppable tweeter before being banned, Trump has said in the past that he wouldn’t get back on Twitter even if his account were reinstated. He relied on his own much smaller social media site, Truth Social, which he launched after being blocked from Twitter.

And earlier Saturday, during a video address to a meeting of a Republican-Jewish group in Las Vegas, Trump said he was aware of Musk’s poll but saw “a lot of trouble on Twitter,” according to Bloomberg.

“I’ve heard we’re getting a big majority to go back on Twitter as well. I don’t see it because I don’t see a reason to,” Trump said, Bloomberg reported. “Maybe it’ll make it, maybe it won’t,” he added, apparently referring to Twitter’s recent internal turmoil.

The prospect of restoring Trump’s presence on the site follows Musk’s purchase of Twitter last month — an acquisition that has fueled widespread concern that the billionaire’s owner will allow liars and misinformation to flourish on the site. Musk has often expressed his belief that Twitter had become too restrictive of free speech.

The billionaire’s efforts to reshape the site have been both swift and chaotic. Musk has laid off many of the company’s 7,500 full-time employees and an untold number of contractors responsible for content moderation and other critical responsibilities. His demand that the remaining employees pledge to work “extremely hardcore” sparked a wave of layoffs, including hundreds of software engineers.

Users have reported seeing more spam and scams on their feeds and in their direct messages, among other outages, in the wake of the mass layoffs and employee exodus. Some programmers fired or resigned this week warned that Twitter could soon fray so badly that it could even crash.

Trump lost access to Twitter two days after his supporters stormed the Capitol, shortly after the former president urged them to protest “peacefully and patriotically.” Twitter dropped its account after Trump penned a pair of tweets that the company says cast further doubt on the legitimacy of the presidential election and posed risks to Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration.

Following the Jan. 6 protest, Trump was also kicked off Facebook and Instagram, which are owned by Meta Platforms, and Snapchat. His ability to post videos on his YouTube channel was also suspended. Facebook will reconsider Trump’s account suspension in January.

Speaking at a car conference in May, Musk claimed that Twitter’s ban on Trump was a “morally bad decision” and “utterly foolish.”

Earlier this month, Musk, who completed the $44 billion acquisition of Twitter at the end of October, said the company would not let anyone who was kicked off the site return until Twitter put procedures in place to do so, including forming a “content moderator.” “. council.”

Musk tweeted Friday that the suspended Twitter accounts of comedian Kathy Griffin, Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson and conservative Christian news satire website Babylon Bee have been reinstated. He added that no decision had yet been made on Trump. He also replied “no” when someone on Twitter asked him to reinstate conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ account.

In a tweet on Friday, Tesla’s CEO described the company’s new content policy as “freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach.”

He explained that a tweet deemed “negative” or containing “hate” is allowed on the site, but only visible to users who specifically searched for it. Such tweets would also be “demonetized, so no ads or other revenue for Twitter,” Musk said.

This report uses information from Reuters.

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