Donald Trump’s infamous Twitter account was reinstated on Saturday after the platform’s new owner, Elon Musk, ran a poll days after the former US president announced a new White House bid in which a slim majority of voters supported the move .
Trump’s account was banned from the platform early last year for his role in the January 6 attack on the US Capitol by mobs of his supporters seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
“The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated,” Musk tweeted shortly after the 24-hour Twitter poll on his account ended.
“Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” he added, repeating a Latin saying he also posted Friday, meaning “The voice of the people is the voice of God.”
The people have spoken.
Trump will be reinstated.
Vox Populi, Vox Dei. https://t.co/jmkhFuyfkv
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 20, 2022
In the end, more than 15 million people – of the 237 million daily users of Twitter – voted to reinstate the controversial profile, with 51.8 percent in favor and 48.2 percent against.
Trump, who had more than 88 million users when his account was suspended, enjoyed using Twitter as a mouthpiece throughout his presidency, posting policy announcements, attacking political rivals and interacting with supporters.
On Saturday, several of his political allies highlighted his return.
“Welcome back, @realdonaldtrump!” tweeted House Republican Paul Gosar.
Musk’s poll asked for a simple “yes” or “no” answer to the statement “Reinstate former President Trump,” which the billionaire Twitter boss posted Friday.
“Fascinating to watch Twitter Trump poll!” Musk mused Saturday morning in an explosion of tweets from the controversial and persistent new owner of the one-to-many messaging platform.
He has conducted similar polls in the past, asking followers last year if he should sell shares in his electric car company Tesla. After that poll, he sold more than $1 billion worth of stock.
– Twitter chaos –
Trump has said he will not be returning to the popular platform, but will instead stay on his own network, Truth Social, launched after being banned from Twitter.
Appearing via video at a Republican Jewish Coalition rally in Las Vegas on Saturday, Trump said he welcomed Musk’s poll and was a fan of the man himself, but seemed to reject any return.
“I like him… you know, he’s a character and again, I like characters,” he said.
“He did a poll and it was very overwhelming…but I have something called…Truth Social.”
When asked if he would return to the platform, he said: “I don’t see it because I don’t see any reason to.”
Musk, also the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, is under fire for radical changes at California-based Twitter, which he bought less than a month ago for $44 billion.
Since then, he laid off half of Twitter’s 7,500 employees, scrapped a work-from-home policy and imposed long hours, while his efforts to overhaul the company have met with backlash and delays.
His faltering attempts to revive user authentication with a controversial subscription service led to a slew of fake accounts and pranks, and led major advertisers to abandon the platform.
On Friday, Musk appeared to be going ahead with his plans, reinstating previously banned accounts, including that of comedian Kathy Griffin, who was removed after she impersonated him on the site.
The company’s offices were locked down Friday, and hundreds of employees resigned rather than give in to Musk’s demands that they resign themselves to working long, grueling days on the new Twitter.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)