This weekend the owner of Twitter, Elon Musk, re-established the account of the former president of the United States, Donald Trump, on the platform, despite saying, three weeks ago, that no decision on the re-establishment of the account would take place until an agreement was formed. “content moderation board” to decide on these actions (which would/should take months).
This was important as many advertisers were – and still are – cutting ad spending out of fear of Musk’s possibly radical approach to free speech (or what will eventually be allowed on the platform). In addition to that, it would remove the weight of direct contribution to such decisions from Musk – he could maintain his posture of full defense of freedom of expression, maintaining his position with his supporters. At the same time, the new Council makes accurate decisions, which are more in line with the expectations of advertising partners.
But on Friday, Elon tweeted that it was “freedom Friday”, reinstated previously banned accounts of The Babylon Bee, Kathy Griffin, Jordan Peterson, and Kanye West, and then launched a Twitter poll asking users if they thought the Former President Trump’s account should be reinstated:
The vote obtained more than 15 million votes and YES surpassed NO. Thus, he reinstated Trump’s account, with the following comment: “The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated. Vox Populi, Vox Dei” . The former US president can now tweet again on his @realDonaldTrump profile.
Turns out Trump hasn’t tweeted yet and said he won’t. Trump Media & Technology Group has invested more than $1 billion in its social media app, Truth Social, with funding from several of the former president’s key supporters and advocates. An important condition in that plan is that Trump committed to posting exclusively on Truth Social, even if his Twitter account came back.
Either way, it’s helped Twitter gain more interest, and Musk says that the platform’s usage is hitting all-time highs.
There’s still an interesting observation from Social Media Today: Twitter’s headcount has been reduced by about 88% since Musk took over, and while there have been reports of outages and other issues with the app, it’s still working — which, at least in a public sense, it adds some weight to Musk’s approach to keeping staff to a minimum. With the big test that will be the World Cup, if the platform can hold up with minimal performance impacts, it can be expected that other social apps will reassess Musk’s people approach and consider whether they need that many people to keep things running.