Donald Trump and Elon Musk with twitter poll.

Donald Trump's Twitter Reinstatement

Part of a series on Elon Musk's Twitter Acquisition. [View Related Entries]

Updated Nov 21, 2022 at 01:55PM EST by Zach.

Added Nov 20, 2022 at 01:07PM EST by Aidan Walker.

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Overview

Donald Trump's Twitter Reinstatement or Donald Trump Twitter Unban refers to a contentious decision on November 18th, 2022, by Twitter owner Elon Musk to put out a poll to his followers about whether to reinstate former President Donald Trump on the platform, whose account was removed following the January 6th insurrection in 2021. After a narrow majority supported reinstating Trump, the former President's account, @realDonaldTrump, was reactivated on the evening of November 19th, 2022. The decision sparked widespread debate and controversy online shortly after.

Background

Trump was originally removed from Twitter on January 8th, 2021, after content moderators found that his remarks violated the site's "Glorification of Violence" rule. Specifically, Twitter felt the need to remove the account "due to the risk of further incitement of violence," referring to the events of January 6th, 2021, which saw a violent crowd of Trump supporters descend on the United States Capitol.[1] Many argue these supporters were inspired by Trump's insistence (which he posted about frequently on Twitter) that he was the rightful winner of the 2020 election.



Following his Twitter suspension, Trump notably created his own social media platform, Truth Social, which imitated the design and mechanics of Twitter. He continued to intervene in American politics, participating in the 2022 midterm elections and making appearances in the right-wing media. On November 16th, 2022, Trump announced that he would run for President in 2024, although many had already assumed and expected he would.[2]

In October 2022, Elon Musk's purchase of Twitter then went through. Early on, many supposed that he would move to reinstate the former President and other previously banned individuals. Originally, Musk had stated in an October 28th, 2022, tweet that "account reinstatement" decisions would be made by a content moderation council (seen below).[3]


Elon Musk @elonmusk Twitter will be forming a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints. No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes. 8:18 PM Oct 28, 2022 · Twitter for iPhone 60.5K Retweets 14.7K Quote Tweets 616.8K Likes

Elon Musk's Twitter Poll

Amid increasing chaos and negative coverage of Twitter in early November 2022, Musk then posted a poll (as he had at various other points) on November 18th, 2022, asking the opinion of Twitter users about whether Trump should be reinstated (seen below).[4]


Reinstate former President Trump Yes Elon Musk @elonmusk No 15,085,458 votes Final results 1:47 AM Nov 19, 2022 Twitter for iPhone 51.8% 48.2%

In the course of 24 hours, the poll received over 15 million votes, with 51.8 percent of respondents saying "yes" to a Trump reinstatement and 48.2 percent saying "no." Musk stated on the same night of the poll's posting that over 130 million people had seen the post. He also added a slogan in Latin, "Vox Populist, Vox Dei" (the voice of the people is the voice of God).

When the poll closed on November 19th, 2022, Musk announced that Trump would return to Twitter in a post that received over 860,000 likes (seen below) in less than 24 hours.[5]


Elon Musk @elonmusk 17h The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated. Vox Populi, Vox Dei. Elon Musk @elonmusk. Nov 19 Reinstate former President Trump Show this poll 125.7K 160K 862.4K (→ ...

Trump's Reaction to Twitter Unban

In the few days following the unbanning of his account, Donald Trump notably did not post anything on Twitter. In remarks given at the Republican Jewish Convention on Saturday, November 19th, 2022, he said that although he liked Elon Musk and thought the new Twitter owner was a "character," Trump would not return to the platform because he was committed to posting on his own social media network, Truth Social (seen below).[9]


Many speculated that the reason for Trump's dismissal of his Twitter account's reactivation was due to his financial and personal interest in Truth Social, which is his own business venture where he's also one of the main draws of the platform, attracting many users. Twitter, however, offers him a larger platform as a 2024 presidential candidate, and many speculated it may be difficult to resist his old haunts.[10] On November 21st, 2022, Elon Musk then posted a Me Trying To Live A Normal Productive Life meme about the temptation of Twitter for Trump, earning over 866,000 likes in less than a day (seen below).[11]


Elon Musk @elonmusk. 16h And lead us not into temptation ... 59.4K 99.5K Donald Trump 864.9K (→ :

Response to Musk's tweet was mixed, with some like Dr. Jordan Peterson praising the new Twitter owner's sense of humor and others condemning his promotion of an "inappropriate" meme (example seen below).


Dr Jordan B Peterson Replying to @elonmusk You really are pretty damn funny Mr. Musk. 2,529 2,969 @jordanbpeterson . 15h Do better. Mike27356894 @mike27356894- 16h Replying to @elonmusk Elon Musk, this is incredibly inappropriate. There are children on this app. You should know this, you see the statistics. You have the data. 5,417 98.7K What if my 2 year old child was to see this? Twitter is supposed to be safe for my kid, and here you are disproving it. 1982 : 24.6K

Other Account Reinstatements

In mid-November 2022, Elon Musk also moved to reinstate accounts other than Trump's that had been removed from the platform for posting hate speech or other violations. These accounts included Jordan Peterson's and Kanye West's, both of whom posted celebratory tweets about their restatement. Peterson, posting on November 18th, 2022, received over 569,000 likes in three days (seen below, top).[12] Ye, posting on November 20th, received over a million likes in less than 24 hours (seen below, bottom).[13]


Dr Jordan B Peterson @jordanbpeterson I'm back. Thanks @elonmusk 8:00 PM Nov 18, 2022 Twitter for iPhone 56.1K Retweets 6,350 Quote Tweets 569.4K Likes :
ye @kanyewest Testing Testing Seeing if my Twitter is unblocked 6:43 PM Nov 20, 2022 Twitter for iPhone 88.8K Retweets 19.9K Quote Tweets 1M Likes :

Andrew Tate was also reinstated on November 19th after a five-year ban, later posting a video on November 21st of himself smoking a cigar on a plane and purportedly flying to California to thank Musk, receiving over 245,000 likes in less than a day (seen below, top).[14] Right-wing outlet the Babylon Bee was also reinstated around this timeframe and posted a similarly flattering post for Musk, quoting his "let that sink in" joke from the early days of his arrival at Twitter (seen below, bottom).[15]


Andrew Tate @Cobratate 14h I've decided to fly to the failed state of California, walk into twitter HQ and tell @elonmusk he's a legend. On my way. 0:12 3.8M views 7,327 17.8K C 238.2K ↑
The Babylon Bee @TheBabylon Bee We're back. Let that sink in. 7:25 PM Nov 18, 2022. Twitter Web App 58.1K Retweets 6,668 Quote Tweets 425.8K Likes

Online Reactions

Following the unbanning of Donald Trump's Twitter account, some online greeted the news with happiness, particularly those who were supporters of Trump. Other right-wing figures, like Marjorie Taylor Greene, replied to the reinstatement announcement with their own reinstatement requests. Her tweet on November 19th, 2022, received over 50,000 likes in a day (seen below).[6]


Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Replying to @elonmusk President Trump should have never been banned in the first place. Interesting it took a poll to decide to reinstate him. My personal account is still permanently banned for "covid misinformation." What does it take to reinstate my account? Freedom of speech matters. @RepMTG. 17h Your account is permanently suspended After careful review, we determined your account broke the Twitter Rules. Your account is permanently in read- only mode, which means you can't Tweet, Retweet, or Like content. You won't be able to create new accounts. If you think we got this wrong, you can submit an appeal. :

Others parodied the joyfulness of those who celebrated Trump's return, such as Twitter user @BarryOnHere, who received over 7,200 likes on November 19th for a tweet jokingly comparing Trump to Jesus (seen below).[7]


Barry @BarryOnHere 17h Donald Trump has come back. You know who else returned after a hiatus to a large amount of haters? That's right, Jesus Christ. Just saying. F** *** 220 1723 7,168

Many also reacted negatively to the reinstatement, arguing that it proved Musk was not serious about content moderation or free speech but was instead inflicting his own ideology and biases on the platform. Some notably criticized the methodology of the poll, arguing that many of the votes were by purportedly bots. Twitter user @GenzForChange, for example, tweeted criticism of Trump on November 20th, earning almost 650 likes in less than a day (seen below).[8]


GENZ CHANGE Gen-Z for Change @genzforchange. 16h Donald Trump being reinstated on Twitter does not change the fact that young people actually want a future. We turned out for the midterms so you bet your ass we're showing up in 2024. 28 124 640 [(→

External References

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Top Comments

Marlotix
Marlotix

in reply to Ian

The problem with not giving him attention is that there will always be people who support him that do, and it won't stop his userbase from growing. Kanye West had his account reinstated too and immediately people were replying to his newest tweet, supporting his anti-Semitic beliefs.

+19

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