It was a Saturday night and most people were out and about or trying to relax. Not Elon Musk. He was busy working at the company he bought — and has maybe destroyed — reinstating the account of the world’s most famous failed blogger, Donald John Trump.
The former president had been banned almost two years ago after he helped foment an attack on the Capitol, amidst fears that he would help spread further violence. But after a Twitter poll showed that a narrow margin of people wanted him back on his favorite social media service, Musk was quick to act.
The people have spoken.
Trump will be reinstated.
Vox Populi, Vox Dei. https://t.co/jmkhFuyfkv
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 20, 2022
“The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated,” Muskl wrote, then threw in some Latin for the people: “Vox Populi, Vox Dei” (meaning “the voice of the people is the voice of God”).
Over 15 million users participated in the poll. How many were bots, on a service Musk himself kept insisting — when he was trying to back out of the $44 billion deal to buy Twitter — was riddled with them? Who knows? (Though a lot of his own followers aren’t real.) But given that the poll results were 51.8% in favor of Trump being reinstated versus 48.2% against, it’s fair to at least question its veracity.
so Elon spent six months in court saying Twitter was riddled with bots, was forced to buy the company, said he was going to create a moderation council for all content decisions, and has thrown all that out of the window for a "vox populi" poll that could be easily gamed
— rat king 🐀 (@MikeIsaac) November 20, 2022
Musk knows that a Twitter poll, riddled with bots, is a fake poll of public opinion. But he justified his insertion of Trump into Twitter again with this, making a mockery of the truth and of every person with intelligence, whatever their political perspective.
— Steven Beschloss (@StevenBeschloss) November 20, 2022
Will Trump come back? He’s said he won’t. Then again, he says lots of things. Then again, he may be trapped on his rinky dink Twitter clone. Sources tell The Washington Post that the former president has told people he can’t leave Truth Social because he’s essentially single-handedly propping it up. Should he decamp for Twitter, it might fail, and if there’s one thing he hates it’s being associated with failure.
On top of that, to get Truth Social off the ground, Trump agreed to an agreement to make his posts exclusive to the service eight hours before he could share them elsewhere. The exceptions would be “political messaging, political fundraising or get-out-the-vote efforts.”
As of this writing, Trump has yet to post anything new on Twitter. But his old posts are suddenly alive again. They provide a grim flashback to the Jan. 6 riots, including his hostage video-like “condemnation” of the Capitol riot. His most recent post dates from Jan. 8 — the day he was permanently banned — and it reads, simply, “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”