© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: This photo shows the suspended Twitter account of US President Donald Trump on a mobile phone and a lighted window at the White House in Washington, US, January 8, 2021. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/Illustration/File Photo
By Sheila Dang and Helen Coster
(Reuters) – Donald Trump said on Saturday he had no interest in returning to Twitter despite a minority vote to reinstate the former US president, who was banned from social media for inciting violence, in a vote organized by the new president. owned by Elon Musk.
More than 15 million Twitter users voted and 51.8% voted in favor of reinstatement.
“The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated,” Musk said.
Trump’s Twitter account, which had 88 million followers before it was suspended on January 8, 2021, began to gain followers and had nearly 100,000 followers by 10pm ET on Saturday. Some users initially reported that they could not track the account that was restored on Saturday evening.
Trump had appeared less than earlier in the day.
“I don’t see why,” the former president said via video when asked if he wanted to return to Twitter by the group at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual meeting.
He also said he would continue with his new platform Truth Social, an app created by the Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG) startup, which he said had better users than Twitter and was doing “very well”.
Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.
Trump, who on Tuesday launched a bid to regain the White House in 2024, praised Musk and said he liked him. But Mr Trump also said Twitter was plagued by bots, fake accounts and that the problems it faced were “shocking”.
Musk first said in May that he planned to reverse Trump’s ban, and the timing of Trump’s return was being watched closely — and feared — by many Twitter advertisers.
The billionaire tried to assure users and advertisers that such a proposal would be considered by the content management board with people with “different opinions” and no account refunds would be made before the council meets.
He added that Twitter will not reinstate banned users until there is a “clear way to do this.”
But this week, Musk fired back at comedian Kathy Griffin, who was banned from changing her name to “Elon Musk” in violation of his new ban on impersonation without identifying it as a personal account. There have been no updates on the moderation process or organization.
NO REASON TO COME BACK
Trump’s lack of visibility could ease concerns among major advertisers, who have already been rattled by Musk’s sweeping Twitter overhaul.
He has cut his workforce in half and cut the company’s trust and safety team, which is responsible for preventing the spread of fake news and harmful content.
These actions and Musk’s tweets have pushed major companies to suspend advertising on the site as they monitor the platform’s handling of hate speech.
On Saturday, Bloomberg reported that Twitter could lay off more employees in its sales and affiliate divisions, naming undisclosed locations, just days after the engineers resigned.
If Trump returns to Twitter, the move could raise questions about his commitment to Social Truth, which launched on the Apple App Store in February and the Google Play Store in October. Trump has 4.57 million followers on Truth Social.
Truth Social has been Trump’s main source of direct communication with his supporters since he began posting the app regularly in May. He has used Truth Social to galvanize allies, criticize critics and defend his reputation among state, congressional and federal investigators.
His deal with the company, however, opens the door for Trump to do more on other platforms. Trump is required to give Social Truth six hours at a time for each post — but he has the right to post “political messages, political fundraising or voting” on any site, at any time, according to the May SEC. .