Donald Trump sued Twitter, Facebook and Google’s YouTube in July 2021, claiming they illegally censored him. Photo / AP
Donald Trump says he has no interest in returning to Twitter after Elon Musk vowed to reverse his ban.
Musk had confirmed he would reinstate the former US president’s Twitter account after putting the decision to a controversial vote.
Trump’s account, which had over 88 million followers before he was banned on January 8, 2021, quickly started gaining followers. He had accumulated nearly 1.2 million followers by this afternoon. However, some reported being unable to follow his account that evening.
However, Trump has been fairly unenthusiastic about the idea.
“I don’t see any reason for it,” the former president said via video when asked whether he planned to return to Twitter by a panel at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership meeting, Reuters reported.
Instead, Trump would stay with his new platform Truth Social, which was developed by his Trump Media & Technology Group.
He said Truth Social was doing has better user engagement than Twitter and was doing “phenomenally well”, noting Twitter’s problems included bots and fake accounts.
Ultimately, he said the problems it faced were “incredible”.
The controversial poll about Trump’s Twitter return began on Saturday and saw roughly 52 per cent voting yes, after Musk claimed the survey was receiving 1 million votes per hour.
“Fascinating to watch Twitter Trump poll!,” Musk tweeted.
The billionaire followed with a Latin Phrase “Vox Populi, Vox Dei”, roughly translated to “the voice of the people is the voice of God.”
Musk said in May he would consider removing Trump’s indefinite Twitter ban, after he was suspended in January 2021 in the wake of the Washington DC insurrection.
After the poll ended, Musk tweeted: “The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated.”
The tech billionaire also claimed the poll was being attacked by “bot and troll armies”.
“The bot attack is impressive to watch!” he said in a tweet
“Bot & troll armies might be running out of steam soon. Some interesting lessons to clean up future polls.”
After Trump’s account was restored, Musk posted: “Twitter is ALIVE”.
The decision to reinstate Trump’s account has caused a major divide on Twitter.
Many users said they were “disgusted” by the decision, with some even vowing to leave the platform.
“Horror show … I’m out,” another person commented.
“Then I am done with Twitter. More people voted against him for president. Do the math,” another said.
However, there were others who praised Musk for the move, thanking him for reinstating Trump and branding it a “good call”.
Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene claimed he should have “never been banned in the first place”.
“Interesting it took a poll to decide to reinstate him,” she said.
The controversial Republican also noted that her account was still banned for “Covid misinformation.
“What does it take to reinstate my account?” she asked Musk
“Freedom of speech matters.”
Last week, Trump announced his third tilt at the White House, confirming rumours he will run for President in 2024.
On Tuesday night local time in Florida, Trump filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission
“Ladies and gentleman, America’s comeback starts right now,” he said to applause as he spoke to the crowd at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
“Three years ago when I left office … our nation was at the pinnacle of power and prestige. Striding into the future, confident and so strong,” he said.
“Everybody was thriving like never before.
The poll comes after Musk reversed the permanent Twitter bans on comedian Kathy Griffin, author Jordan Peterson and conservative satirical news website Babylon Bee.
Peterson was suspended after misgendering actor Elliot Page and the Babylon Bee was banned for misgendering an admiral for the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, Rachel Levine.
Kathy Griffin was banned on November 7 after changing her name to Elon Musk and impersonating the billionaire on the platform.
Musk’s latest move follows the decision of 1200 Twitter employees to flee the platform after the Tesla founder fired four top executives and half of the 7500-person staff.
Twitter’s new owner penned a memo on Friday to remaining employees “who actually writes software” to provide a bullet point summary of “what your code commits have achieved in the past six months.”
“Before doing so, please email me a bullet point summary of what your code commits have achieved in the past 6 months,” the email reportedly said.
“These will be short, technical interviews that allow me to better understand the Twitter tech stack.”
Musk said he would video call engineers who worked remotely but “if possible, I would encourage you to fly to San Francisco to present in person.”
Zoe Schiffer, the managing editor of Platformer who broke the news, said staff were told to provide Musk with 10 screenshots of their “most salient lines of code”.
Schiffer pointed out that many engineers have left Twitter since the takeover.
As such there are fewer staff to keep the site ticking over.
Continuing his theme of frowning on staff who work from home, Musk said he could do video calls with engineers who worked remotely but only for those “who cannot physically get to Twitter HQ”.
“If possible, I would encourage you to fly to San Francisco to present in person.”
Musk said he would be in the office until midnight on Friday.
Last week, Musk sent the remaining staff an email saying “Twitter 2.0″ was going to be “extremely hardcore,” and if they didn’t want to “work long hours at high intensity,” they should indicate they wanted to leave by Thursday.
Staff had been directed to click a link to say they agreed to the punishing conditions he laid out for “Twitter 2.0″.
If they didn’t click the link by Thursday, he said they would have effectively resigned and would be given three months redundancy pay.