Trump restored on Twitter, but contract obligation may stand in the way

Despite the fact that in a poll organized by new Twitter owner Elon Musk a slim majority of Twitter users voted in favor of reinstating the former U.S. president, Donald Trump, back to the social media platform, he said that he had no interest in returning to it.

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51.8% voted in favor of the reinstatement of the former president, out of a little over 15 million Twitter users.Musk did not hesitate, and was very clear, as he tweeted: “The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated.”

Before Trump’s Twitter account was banned on January 8, 2021, it counted over 88 million followers. Now, the account has begun accumulating followers and added nearly 100,000 followers to its count, while some users initially reported being unable to follow the reinstated account, reported Reuters.

Earlier in the day, the former president, who recently launched a bid to regain the White House in 2024, had appeared less than keen. When asked by a panel at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership meeting whether he planned to return to Twitter, the former president said in a video that he does not see any reason for it.

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Trump added that he would stick with the app that was developed by his Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG) startup, his new platform, Truth Social, which he said had better user engagement than Twitter and was doing “phenomenally well.”

Trump says that Twitter suffers from bots, and fake accounts and that the problems it faced were “incredible,” despite him praising Musk and saying that he had always liked him.

In May, Musk said that he planned to reverse the Donald Trump ban, while the timing of any return by the former president was closely watched and feared by many of Twitter’s advertisers.

Since then, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO sought to reassure users and advertisers that only with consideration by a content moderation council composed of people with “widely diverse viewpoints” such a decision could be made and that no account reinstatements would happen before the council convened.

Musk also said that until there was a “clear process for doing so,” Twitter would not reinstate any banned users.

But recently, the comedian Kathy Griffin’s account was reinstated by Musk. Griffin’s account was banned after she changed her profile name to “Elon Musk.” His new rule against impersonation without indicating it was a parody account was violated by this move.

As for the process of the moderation council, there has been no new information.

If Trump really decides not to come back to Twitter, it could reduce concerns among major advertisers, who are already confused by Musk’s drastic reshaping of Twitter.

The workforce at Twitter was cut in half when Musk took over, while the company’s trust and safety team was also severely cut by the billionaire, which is responsible for preventing the spread of misinformation and harmful content.

Major companies are being pushed by these actions and Musk’s tweeting, to halt advertising on the site as they monitor how the platform handles hate speech.

Trump has around 4.57 million followers on Truth Social, so the move back to Twitter would raise eyebrows about his commitment to Truth Social. There is also the possibility that he signed a contract to only work with Truth Social, which does not have anywhere close to the same amount of reach as Twitter.

His social platform launched in February on Apple’s App Store, while for it to come to Google’s Play Store, users needed to wait until October.

Since he began posting on the app regularly in May, Truth Social has been Trump’s main source of direct communication with his followers, while he was also seen promoting his allies, criticizing opponents, and defending his reputation amid legal scrutiny from state, congressional and federal investigators.

According to a May SEC filing, Trump is obligated to give Truth Social a six-hour exclusive on any post – but is free to post “political messaging, political fundraising or get-out-the vote efforts” on any site, at any time.

So basically, Trump’s agreement with the company opens the door for him to engage extensively on other platforms.

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