Former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account was suspended following the January 6th protest after many believed the protest got out of hand after protestors entered the United States Capitol building. Some believe that Trump incited the January 6th protest turning into what later came to be described as a riot. Although Trump never tweeted anything implying that the Capitol building should be entered, many including the Congressional January 6th committee argued Trump’s anger about the 2020 election that voiced through Twitter could be what incited protestors to enter the Capitol building – however, it’s a stretch.
Even as the sitting President of the United States, Donald Trumps Twitter with nearly 90 million followers has been banned from the site and has been described as the “digital town square,” implying that it’s your right as a citizen to utilize your voice however your choose. Since Twitter is a company and not a public space, Donald Trump legally did not have a case to overturn his banning from Twitter.
Since Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter earlier this year, it’s been speculated that he would change the momentum of growing tech censorship. Friday, Elon Musk and his team at Twitter reinstated the accounts of the Babylon Bee, a right-wing satirical comedy account, as well as clinical psychologist Jordan B. Peterson, another right-wing figure. Following ending the ban placed on their accounts, Elon Musk tweeted:
Kathie Griffin, Jorden Peterson & Babylon Bee have been reinstated.
Trump decision has not yet been made.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 18, 2022
November 18, new Twitter CEO Elon Musk tweeted a poll raising the question of whether or not Twitter should reinstate former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account.
Reinstate former President Trump
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 19, 2022
In the poll which received 134 million votes, Twitter users decided by a margin of 51.8% to 48.2% to unban former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account.
The people have spoken.
Trump will be reinstated.
Vox Populi, Vox Dei. https://t.co/jmkhFuyfkv
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 20, 2022
Donald Trump made a statement on whether or not he’d return to Twitter if his account were to be unbanned:
“I don’t think Twitter can be successful without me,” Trump tells Fox Business. Trump appears to still be eyeing Twitter as a competitor to his social media platform, Truth Social. Trump goes on to say, “I am staying on Truth. I like it better, I like the way it works, I like Elon, but I’m staying on Truth.” This could be a statement saying that he’ll stay away from Twitter in favor of Truth Social, or, Trump could even remain on both platforms, primarily posting on Truth Social, and also posting on Twitter due to the large audience the platform carries.
Trump also stated, “When I put a Truth out, it goes all over the place anyway,” Trump said. “Everyone who is on Twitter and on all the other places, they all put it out anyway.” Trump’s Truth Social posts are typically posted around Twitter through other people, or when a post goes viral enough that it even trends on Twitter. As a result of the success to this point that Truth Social has had, Trump may be choosing to stay on his own platform along with assuming that his Truth Social posts will make it to Twitter without having to compromise his business.
Trump told Fox News Digital that “terminating” him from Facebook, Twitter and other social media companies in 2021 was “one of the worst decisions made in business in the last two years,” pointing to “how badly these platforms are doing.”
“Facebook is now down $80 billion and boring,” Trump said. “Twitter has been taken over, and, if it wasn’t for me, it would have never been taken over. No one would have even thought about it.”
“I made Twitter hot 12 years ago, I made Twitter hot,” he said. “And then when they terminated, it became cold, and that’s what happened.”
Trump, pointing to Facebook parent company Meta Platforms Inc.’s plunge in stock price — the lowest since February 2016 — and Twitter, said “engagements are way down and everything else since I left.”
“And if you remember, 12 years ago, Twitter was a failed enterprise,” he said. “It was only when I got on that it became successful.”
Truth Social was eventually added to Google Play following its release on the Apple App Store, and it became the No. 1 downloaded app in the store edging out other top apps such as TikTok, Amazon, WhatsApp, and Instagram. Truth Social would go on to hold the number-one spot for nearly a week.
Trump has stated that he is happy that right-wing opinion can be said once again on Twitter, and that Elon Musk will help to end the tech censorship that was previously occurring on Twitter. However, it’s unclear whether Donald Trump will return.
With a now confirmed 2024 Presidental run, it’s unclear whether Trump can turn down his 90 million Twitter followers on the platform that remains larger and more influential than Truth Socal. While Truth Social is maintaining high levels of success under Donald Trump, the possibility remains that former President Donald Trump will go on to post on both Truth Social as well as Twitter.