Twitter will reinstate former President Donald Trump’s banned account, owner Elon Musk announced Saturday evening.
Musk based his decision to allow the 45th president back onto the social media platform on a 24-hour poll he tweeted Friday night, asking users to vote on whether Trump’s account should be reinstated. Users voted 51.8% to 48.2% in favor of allowing Trump back on the platform, with more than 15 million votes being cast, and Musk announced he would honor the results of the poll shortly after the 24-hour window closed.
TWITTER EXPLODES AS MUSK’S POLL TOPS 12 MILLION, FAVORING TRUMP’S RETURN
“The people have spoken,” Musk wrote in a tweet Saturday. “Trump will be reinstated. Vox Populi, Vox Dei.”
“Vox Populi, Vox Dei” is a Latin phrase that translates to “the voice of the people is the voice of God.”
Within minutes of Musk’s tweet, Trump’s old account reappeared on the social media site and users began retweeting old posts.
Trump had been permanently banned from Twitter after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, and he was also suspended from Facebook. Detractors stressed the possible pitfalls of restoring the former president’s account on the platform, while Trump backers were giddy or disgruntled with the way Musk handled the matter. Other users believed that Twitter’s ban was “inconsistent” with the way it treats other political officials’ accounts.
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Musk, who has referred to himself as a “free speech absolutist,” said earlier this year that he planned to “reverse” the ban on Trump’s account. However, he walked that back after acquiring the social media company. He then revealed his plan to form a “content moderation council,” saying that “no major content decisions or account reinstatement” would occur before it met. Despite that assertion, he restored the accounts of other prominent blocked users, including Kathy Griffin, the Babylon Bee, and Jordan Peterson.
The new Twitter CEO also told a user, “No,” after he was asked whether he would reinstate the account of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.