RED CHECK: Why did Elon Musk allow Donald Trump back on Twitter?
Perhaps to try to save the company he’s been busy torpedoing through a combination of arrogance and bad ideas, Elon Musk has decided to let former president Donald Trump – who previously used the platform to encourage violence and try to overthrow the government – back on Twitter.
“The people have spoken,” Musk declared, citing a “poll” he conducted from his handle.
Reinstate former President Trump
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 19, 2022
The people have spoken.
Trump will be reinstated.
Vox Populi, Vox Dei. https://t.co/jmkhFuyfkv
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 20, 2022
Vox populi, vox dei means “the voice of the people is the voice of God.”
In this scenario, Musk is God, of course.
The billionaire instigator has frequently framed this as a “free speech” issue. Yet our Constitution only specifies that the government — the GOVERNMENT, Elon – cannot interfere with free speech. That doesn’t mean that we have to give every idiot – orange or otherwise – a platform, as everyone but you seems to understand.
It’s also worth noting that not all speech is the same. Expressive speech must be distinguished from threats, harassment, libel, and slander, and speech employed to facilitate fraud.
So far, Trump has claimed he’s not returning to Twitter because it has “a lot of problems.” Finally, he’s right about something.
As of 11:30 AM on the day after Trump’s account was restored, he had still not posted anything on the platform, with this tweet from the day of his ban still sitting at the top of his feed.
To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 8, 2021
Yeah, we knew that.
Here are some of the reactions from around Twitter following the announcement.
Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), one of the only members of the GOP to serve on the House Select Committee investigating the Trump-inspired January 6th, 2021 insurrection at the Capitol, reminded the public exactly why Trump was kicked off Twitter to begin with, something Elon musk apparently forgot.
Keep in mind trump wasn’t suspended for being a meanie. He was suspended for lighting an insurrection and when it failed tweeting “this is what you get…”
Lies lies lies with a price. But hey at least Elon gets approval from the alt right. $44 billion dollar troll. https://t.co/3nzg4q17fY
— Adam Kinzinger #fella (@AdamKinzinger) November 20, 2022
Twitter just got fricken weird. #TrumpIsBack pic.twitter.com/SiXmoPnRWu
— Laurie❄️ (@Laurieluvsmolly) November 20, 2022
Elon Musk is letting a man who led a violent Insurrection to overthrow the United States Government back on this platform. Letting the Lies and Disinformation continue to poison the American bloodstream.
— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) November 20, 2022
Elon’s decision to let Trump back wasn’t based on first amendment. It was for the $$$
— Daniel Uhlfelder (@DWUhlfelderLaw) November 20, 2022
Memo to Elon, freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom to incite an insurrection.
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) November 20, 2022
Sorry to disturb you, @elonmusk
…DJT asked me to pass this on- pic.twitter.com/tDZWthPPud
— Duncan Jones (@ManMadeMoon) November 20, 2022
Trump’s Twitter is back…Thanks for the increase in death threats Elon. I guess like Trump’s Presidency…Truth Social is a failure.
— Olivia of Troye (@OliviaTroye) November 20, 2022
Life accomplishments of Donald J. Trump:
– 2016: as ultimate political outsider is nonetheless elected president of the United States
– 2022: gets account reinstated on free website
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) November 20, 2022
Trumpers attacked the Capitol and congress, beat cops and menaced and terrorized the nation to stop the peaceful transfer of power FOR TRUMP because trump sent them there and told them to—and he waited/watched and cheered it on and told them he loved thempic.twitter.com/03ncMIZjyn
— Luke Zaleski (@ZaleskiLuke) November 20, 2022
For @elonmusk to allow Donald Trump back on Twitter, ostensibly after a brief poll, shows he is not remotely serious about safeguarding the platform from hate, harassment and misinformation. https://t.co/Rf0NjAubpI
— Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) November 20, 2022
So Donald Trump is back on Twitter.
Congratulations, Donald. You have one more platform where you can accidentally provide evidence.
— Steve Hofstetter (@SteveHofstetter) November 20, 2022
Yes I checked & yes I’m still blocked 😂😂😂
(OG block: 2015) pic.twitter.com/mPdZrDsNhb
— Tara Dublin (@taradublinrocks) November 20, 2022
With the accusations that the move to reinstate Trump’s account was merely a sham to reinvigorate a social platform that Musk overpaid for — and for which he is desperately trying to claw back profitability for his multi-billion dollar investment — it’s ironic that the legitimacy of the voting process involved with the decision has been sundered with accusations of a “stolen election.”
the bots have spoken pic.twitter.com/bEK40fKXEB
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) November 20, 2022
Anyhow, since you’re so into “polls” Elon, I’m thinking maybe we should conduct a poll to see if you should jump off the Empire State Building. Whichever way it goes, you’ll honor it, right?
I’m on Twitter for now (we’ll see what happens). You can follow me there: @RossRosenfeld
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