The reactivation of Donald Trump’s Twitter account, a symbolic decision

“The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated. Vox Populi vox dei. » This is how Elon Musk justified, on Sunday November 20, the decision to reactivate the Twitter account of the former American president, suspended since January 2021. The new CEO of the social network had, a few hours earlier, launched a poll online, which received 15 million votes, including a narrow majority to bring Donald Trump back: 51.8% for, 48.2% against.

Facts : Article reserved for our subscribers Elon Musk at the head of Twitter: the possible return of Trump to the network and the presidential election in Brazil as first tests

The former president’s account was suspended after his supporters stormed the Capitol in Washington, causing a riot and several deaths on January 6, 2021. The management of the social network had estimated that Mr. Trump , in particular by contesting his defeat and the victory of Joe Biden, had encouraged the demonstrators. “After reviewing the content of recent tweets posted by the @realDonaldTrump account and given the current context, we have made the decision to suspend this account in order to limit the risk of incitement to violence”, had explained Twitter. Donald Trump was then, with 88 million subscribers, the first user of the social network, multiplying messages and provocations – a role and a posture taken over since in part by Mr. Musk.

The reinstatement of the Donald Trump account by the boss of Tesla and SpaceX, a self-proclaimed supporter of the “absolute freedom of expression”, has an important symbolic meaning. Especially since the defeated ex-president has just announced that he wants to be a candidate again against Joe Biden in 2024.

No short term consequences

However, this decision has no short-term consequences. Indeed, Donald Trump announced on Saturday that he did not want to return to Twitter: “I see no reason to do so,” he assured during a video intervention, Saturday, at a rally of the coalition of Republican Jews in Las Vegas (Nevada). While saluting Elon Musk – ” I like it (…). He’s a hell of a character and I love hell of a character” –, he said he prefers to stay on Truth Social. This social network, designed as a conservative and Republican “alternative” to Twitter or Facebook, offers Donald Trump only a small audience – 4.18 million subscribers in October. But he is CEO of the company that designs Truth Social and he has signed a contract with her granting him exclusivity for six hours of his posts, with some exceptions. This did not prevent Elon Musk from hoping that the ex-president will disengage from Truth Social to join Twitter, represented as a woman offering herself to a hesitant monk, in a schoolboy and vulgar tweet of which the entrepreneur has the secret …

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