Donald Trump reinstated on Twitter after Musk tweet poll

PHOTO: Trump has been reinstated on Twitter. (via Brain Station)

He’s baaaaaaack… After a poll tweet that garnered over 15 million votes, coup-inspiring former President Donald Trump has been reinstated on Twitter. The poll saw 52% of respondents voting in favour of allowing Trump back on Twitter after being banned for misinformation and inciting violence. But does Trump even want to be back?

Elon Musk posted the poll, so many doubt its accuracy and pointed out that watchdog sites categorize 70% of Musk’s followers as fake or bot accounts. The billionaire, who bought Twitter and then laid off or lost the vast majority of staff, then posted a follow-up tweet with a Latin phrase meaning “the voice of the people is the voice of God.”

“The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated. Vox Populi, Vox Dei.”

TRUMP NOT INTERESTED

While “Make America Great Again” fans are celebrating the reinstatement of their dear leader, Trump himself expressed little interest in coming back to Twitter. The reinstatement might actually put him in a pickle, as his ban was the main reason for his Trump Media & Technology Group to build the platform Truth Social, a right-wing clone of Twitter. It was a place for extremists to post rhetoric that got them kicked off of Twitter.

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Trump can post political messages on any social media but has an obligation to post on Truth Social first for six hours, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing in May. But Trump and others being able to post on the much larger and much more popular Twitter platform could drive users to abandon Truth Social.

ADVERTISER DOUBT

Musk’s rash decision may further damage his credibility with advertisers who have been pulling out of the troubled social media site in droves. Advertisers are shaken by mass resignations this week after about half of all employees were laid off, including the trust and safety team that fights hate speech and misinformation.

By reinstating the ex-president, Musk may have backed himself into a corner. Trump’s return may scare away more advertisers afraid of his volatility. But if Trump declines to come back to Twitter, that too could have a massive chilling effect on advertisers’ faith in the platform’s relevance and importance.

Major advertising firms have advised against placing ads on Twitter for fear of brands being tied to instability, misinformation, and extremism that is already growing on the site since Musk’s takeover. The billionaire owner had tried to reassure advertisers that there was an adult in the room, saying that all decisions would be made by a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints.

He had promised that no one would be reinstated without council approval. But yesterday he reinstated the right-wing attempt at a humour page Babylon Bee and controversial misogynist Jordan Peterson, as well as comedian Kathy Griffin, who had been permanently banned for changing her Twitter name and photo to Elon Musk.

Now, with the reinstatement of Trump, Twitter’s most volatile and unpredictable figure is back not because of careful moderation, but because of a Twitter poll that could easily be stacked. It is surprisingly cheap to buy fake poll votes and fake bot accounts on Twitter.

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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