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19 Nov, 2022 09:02

Musk asks Twitter users to decide on Trump’s future

The platform’s new CEO has launched a poll on whether the former US president should be unbanned
Musk asks Twitter users to decide on Trump’s future

Elon Musk posted a poll on Twitter on Friday asking users whether they want to see former US President Donald Trump reinstated on the site. His account was permanently suspended in early 2021 following what the company called attempts to incite violence during the Capitol Hill riot.

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO, who recently completed a $44 billion deal to buy Twitter, posted a poll titled: ‘Reinstate former President Trump’, with the options ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Musk followed up on the post with the words ‘Vox Populi, Vox Dei’, a Latin expression meaning ‘the voice of the people is the voice of God’.

According to preliminary results, 53% of Twitter users would like to see Trump unbanned, with 46% against. More than 7 million people so far have voted in the poll, which is expected to last until Sunday.

In May, before buying Twitter, Musk denounced Trump’s ban as “foolish,” signaling that he would reverse the decision if his acquisition deal went through. “Permanent bans should be extremely rare and really reserved for accounts that are bots or spam, scam accounts. I do think it was not correct to ban Donald Trump,” he said at the time.

The account of the former president was permanently suspended from Twitter in January 2021 over what the social media site said were violations of its ‘glorification of violence’ policy. Before that, Trump, who at the time had almost 80 million followers, repeatedly spoke in support of the people who stormed the US Capitol building on January 6 to protest Joe Biden’s victory in 2020 presidential election.

The poll comes after Musk reinstated three high-profile accounts earlier on Friday, including those of Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson, liberal comedian Kathy Griffin, and the satire site Babylon Bee.

He also said that the new Twitter policy will be “freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach,” and that “negative/hate tweets will be max deboosted and demonetized,” with penalties applied to individual posts rather than entire accounts.