Trump dismissed Twitter after Musk announced the reactivation of the former president’s account
Nov 19 (Reuters) – Donald Trump said on Saturday he was not interested in returning to Twitter even as a narrow majority voted to reinstate the former U.S. president, who has been banned from the social network for inciting violence, in a poll organized by new owner Elon Muska.
Just over 15 million Twitter users voted in the poll with 51.8% voting in favor of reinstatement.
“The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated,” Musk tweeted.
Trump’s Twitter account, which had over 88 million followers before it was banned on Jan. 8, 2021, began gaining followers and had nearly 100,000 followers by 10 p.m. ET on Saturday. Some users initially reported that they could not track the returned account on Saturday evening.
Trump seemed less than thrilled earlier in the day.
“I don’t see any reason to,” the former president said via video when asked by a panel at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership meeting if he planned to return to Twitter.
He said he would stick with his new platform Truth Social, an app developed by his startup Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), which he said had better user engagement than Twitter and was doing “phenomenally well.”
Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.
Trump, who is on Tuesday launched the offer to reclaim the White House in 2024, Musk praised and said he always liked him. But Trump also said Twitter was suffering from bots, fake accounts and that the problems it was facing were “unbelievable”.
Musk first said in May that he planned to overturn the ban on Trump, and many have been watching the timing of any Trump comeback closely — and fearing him. Twitter’s advertisers.
The billionaire has since sought to reassure users and advertisers that such a decision would be made by a content moderation panel made up of people with “a wide variety of viewpoints” and that there would be no refunds before the panel convenes.
He also said that Twitter will not reinstate any banned users until there is a “clear process for doing so”. read more
But this week, Musk reinstated comedian Kathy Griffin, who was banned for changing her profile name to “Elon Musk” in violation of his new anti-impersonation rule without indicating that it was a parody account. There was no new information about the process or the moderation council.
NO REASON TO RETURN
Trump’s absence could ease concerns among big advertisers, who are already upset by Musk’s drastic reshaping of Twitter.
It cut the workforce in half and severely reduced the company’s trust and security team, which is responsible for preventing the spread of misinformation and harmful content.
These actions and Musk’s tweeting forced major companies to stop advertising on the site as they follow how the platform deals with hate speech.
Bloomberg reported on Saturday that Twitter could lay off more employees in its sales and partnerships divisions, citing unnamed sources, just days after a mass resignation of engineers.
If Trump returns to Twitter, the move would raise questions about his commitment to Truth Social, which launched on Apple’s App Store in February and the Google Play Store in October. Trump has about 4.57 million followers on Truth Social.
Truth Social has been Trump’s main source of direct communication with his followers since he began posting regularly on the app in May. He used Truth Social to promote his allies, criticize opponents and defend his reputation amid legal scrutiny from state, congressional and federal investigators.
His deal with the company, however, opens the door for Trump to engage heavily on other platforms. Trump is required to give Truth Social a six-hour exclusive on any post — but is free to post “political messages, political fundraising or get-out-the-vote efforts” on any site, at any time, according to a May SEC filing .
Reporting by Sheila Dang and Helen Coster; Additional reporting by Jim Oliphant; Writing by Shankar Ramakrishnan; Edited by Daniel Wallis and Christopher Cushing
Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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