Trump can tweet again, but does he want to? – Culture

Former US President donald trump may go back to twitter. Twitter boss Elon Musk reactivated the account on Sunday morning. A day earlier, Musk had started a poll among his followers as to whether the ex-president should be allowed to tweet again, and Trump’s supporters narrowly prevailed.

Now Trump is back, at least in theory. Because the former president could tweet again, but he hasn’t done it yet. His last visible tweet is still from January 8, 2021. In it, Trump announced that he would not be attending Joe Biden’s inauguration. Prior to the January 2021 suspension, Trump’s account had more than 80 million followers and was one of the platform’s most successful accounts ever.

Maybe Trump is just waiting for his audience to get big enough. According to media reports, the reactivated account was completely restarted that night with zero followers. A few hours later, Trump had a few million followers, but a few hours later he had more than 50 million followers, including some who said they did not follow him again. It seems as if Trump is not only getting his account back on Twitter, but also gradually his old following.

The ex-president was banned from Twitter and other online platforms after expressing sympathy for his rampaging supporters who violently stormed the Capitol in Washington in January 2021. He had previously used these channels for months to spread the lie that his victory over Democrat Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election was stolen through fraud. The platform operators feared at the time that Trump’s posts could lead to further violence.

Low turnout

“The people have spoken,” the tech billionaire justified his decision after the end of the survey. This reveals Musk’s at least idiosyncratic understanding of democracy. In the end, 51.8 percent were in favor of activation, while 48.2 percent were against it. However, only 15 million users took part. The turnout was only 6.5 percent of the 230 million Twitter users, many of whom may not have known anything about the survey. Even using just Musk followers (117 million) as a benchmark, it only jumps to about 13 percent.

While Trump had advertised participation in the Musk poll on his Truth Social platform, he had also said that he preferred to stay on his Twitter clone. On Saturday, shortly before the end of the survey, he wrote: “We’re not going anywhere. Truth Social is special!”

The former president has 4.6 million followers on the platform, which is mainly populated by Trump fans, conservatives and right-wingers. There aren’t many more users on the platform either. Trump could actually use a larger forum with more reach in view of the Republican nomination for the next presidential election. Most recently, the 76-year-old, who had long dominated the party at will and marginalized critics, lost influence in his own ranks.

In the November 8 general and gubernatorial elections, voters rejected several candidates who had been heavily supported by him. Overall, the Republicans failed to triumph: They narrowly won the majority in the House of Representatives and the Democrats were able to defend control of the Senate.

Trump under pressure – just like Musk

Since then, the voices of prominent Republicans have been increasing, calling for the Trump era to be finally ended in order to reconnect with more moderate voters beyond the hard core of his supporters. A promising rival who could pose a threat to Trump in the race for the Republican nomination in the 2024 presidential election is the newly re-elected governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis.

At this very moment, Musk, who recently very openly expressed his sympathy for the political views of Trump’s Republicans, is giving the politically stricken ex-president the Twitter account back.

Musk has problems of his own that a Trump return could help with. Ad revenue plummeted after the costly Twitter takeover. Companies fear that given the unrestricted freedom of speech Musk has promised, promoting their brands could end up alongside offensive tweets. The chaotic introduction of a new subscription system was stopped after the fuss about loud, deceptively real-looking accounts from brands and celebrities. Now, however, the controversy surrounding the restoration of Trump’s account alone is drawing attention to Twitter.

Trump used Twitter more intensively in his victorious 2016 election campaign than any candidate before him. And even during his time in the White House, the platform was his central communication channel. Trump governed, promoted favorites and fired cabinet members who had fallen out of favor via Twitter: His Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, for example, learned of his dismissal from a tweet by the President.

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