Elon Musk says he will reinstate Trump on Twitter

Elon Musk said on Twitter on Saturday that he would put former President Donald J. Trump back on the platform in his recent reorganization of the social media service.

Mister. Musk, who bought Twitter for $44 billion last month, conducted a poll on the platform late Friday afternoon asking if he would bring Mr. Trump back to the service. Twitter had Mr. Trump at the US Capitol after the Sept. 1, 2021 riots, saying his posts risked inciting violence.

More than 15 million people voted for Mr. Musk’s poll of whether Mr. Trump, Mr. Musk said in his tweet, with nearly 52 percent saying the former president should be allowed to return.

“People have spoken,” Mr. Musk said on Twitter. “Trump will be reinstated.” He added the Latin phrase “Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” roughly meaning that the voice of the people is the voice of God.

It’s unclear if Mr. Musk will see Mr. Trump’s return to duty. Mister. Musk and Twitter did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

A self-proclaimed “free speech absolutist,” Mr. Musk had taken a hiatus from changing the content rules around Twitter after acquiring the company. Late last month, he said the company would form a content moderation council to make key content decisions on the platform and that he would take no steps to reinstate accounts “before that council meets.”

At the time, the announcement seemed a step backwards from his position that Twitter should be a go-anywhere platform.

as Mr. Musk completed his buyout of Twitter last month, with Mr Trump – who went on to found his own social network, Truth Social – declaring himself “very happy that Twitter is now in healthy hands”. In a post on Truth Social at the time, Mr. Trump said he was glad Twitter was “no longer run by radical left-wing crazies and maniacs who genuinely hate our country.”

Mister. Musk had said in May that he tweeted about the permanent ban on Mr. Trump, leaving him on the social network. Mister. Musk added that the decision that Mr. Trump was “a mistake because it alienated a large part of the country and ultimately did not result in Donald Trump having no voice.” He added that it was “morally wrong and downright stupid” and that “permanent bans fundamentally erode trust in Twitter.”

Alex Stamos, the director of the Stanford Internet Observatory, said it was “strange” that Mr. Musk, who has complained for months about Twitter’s problem with bot accounts, would use a Twitter poll where bots could vote to decide the issue, and then assume that the outcome “reflects some kind of legitimate ‘voice of the people'”.

“It’s definitely possible for small groups to create large numbers of accounts to manipulate features like polls,” he added.

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