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Elon Musk says he will reinstate Twitter account of former President Donald Trump after online poll

An image of new Twitter owner Elon Musk is seen surrounded by Twitter logos in this photo illustration in Warsaw, Poland on 08 November, 2022. 

STR | Nurphoto | Getty Images

New Twitter owner and CEO Elon Musk announced that he will reinstate the Twitter account of former President Donald Trump on Saturday.

Musk ran a straw poll on the social media platform starting late Friday asking his followers to vote on whether to reinstate former U.S. President Donald Trump’s account on the platform. The poll ran for twenty four hours.

At its conclusion, Musk wrote in a tweet, “The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated. Vox Populi, Vox Dei.” The latter phrase means “the voice of the people is the voice of god.”

Under previous ownership, Twitter had issued a lifetime ban on President Donald Trump’s account in January 2021.

The former President’s account was first suspended by Twitter in the wake of the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol where his supporters rioted and disrupted lawmakers who were formally counting Electoral College votes.

At the time, Twitter said in a tweet, it made the decision “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”

For his part, former President Trump said earlier this year that he would not return to the social media platform even if Musk reversed the ban. The move to bring Trump back to Twitter comes days after the former president announced his third campaign for the White House. Trump is currently under federal investigation for his handling of classified documents and his role in a massive effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.

Trump has applauded Twitter’s new ownership under Musk. “I am very happy that Twitter is now in sane hands, and will no longer be run by Radical Left Lunatics and Maniacs that truly hate our country,” Trump wrote on his Truth Social account in October. Truth Social is a Twitter-like platform run by the Trump Media & Technology Group.

On Oct. 28, as Musk was taking the helm at Twitter, he wrote on the platform that, “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.”

Musk has not yet said whether he has formed a content moderation council or who is participating in it.

The NAACP was one of the first civil rights groups to condemn Musk for allowing Trump back onto the platform. Derrick Johnson, the CEO of the NAACP, called on any companies still working with Twitter to pause their advertising following the decision to reinstate Trump.

“Any advertiser still funding Twitter should immediately pause all advertising,” Johnson said in a statement to CNBC. “If Elon Musk continues to run Twitter like this, using garbage polls that do not represent the American people and the needs of our democracy, God help us all,” he added.

Johnson was among a group of civil rights leaders who recently met with Musk and called on him to disallow the return of many users that had been banned from the platform.

Democratic leaders have concerned for months that Musk would allow Trump to return to Twitter.

Members of Biden’s inner circle and party strategists were worried that misinformation will rise on Twitter under Musk’s leadership and ahead of the 2024 presidential election, which could pit Biden against the former president in a rematch, CNBC previously reported.

A White House spokesman did not return a request for comment.

This is a developing story please check back for updates…

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