Elon Musk announced a few weeks after taking over Twitter that he will fulfil one of his early promises for the platform by restoring Donald Trump’s account. Musk said that the former president, who is running for president for the third time, will be allowed to tweet again.
The decision appeared to be made by Twitter’s new CEO via a Twitter poll. Musk tweeted a poll on Friday night asking people to vote on whether Twitter should reinstate the former President, who recently announced that he will run for the country’s highest office again in 2024.
In a subsequent tweet, Musk said, “Vox Populi, Vox Dei.” The phrase means “the voice of the people, the voice of God” in Latin. The poll closed 24 hours later, and Musk announced that Trump would be reinstated.
Soon after, @realDonaldTrump returned to the internet, though he has yet to tweet. Trump stated earlier this year that even if his account was reinstated, he would not return to the platform.
The option to reinstate the former President received 51.8 per cent of the votes cast (15,085,458). While the poll was still running, Musk stated that it was receiving one million votes per hour, and that “bot and troll armies” were to blame for some of the activity.
The people have spoken.
Trump will be reinstated.
Vox Populi, Vox Dei. https://t.co/jmkhFuyfkv
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 20, 2022
While Musk has long stated that he would allow Trump to return to the platform, he previously stated that he would form a moderation council before lifting any permanent Twitter account bans.
Musk reinstated a few accounts, including those of Kathy Griffin and Jordan Peterson, on November 18th. He stated at the time that no decision had been made regarding Trump.
Trump was kicked off Twitter in early 2021 for violating the platform’s rules against inciting violence. By expressing support for the mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6th of last year, he violated Twitter’s civic integrity policy.
His account was suspended for 12 hours at first. Twitter permanently suspended Trump’s personal account a few days later, in his final days in office.
Trump has been unable to use the platform since, despite his attempts to circumvent the ban and a failed lawsuit seeking to restore his access. Trump’s account was restored after Musk purchased Twitter.
Update at 10:29 Nigerian time/ Former President Donald Trump’s official Twitter account has been reinstated by CEO Elon Musk on Twitter.