Twitter’s new CEO appears to have undone an unprecedented moment in the history of American politics.
On Saturday, Elon Musk announced that Twitter would be reinstating former president Donald Trump.
Minutes after Musk made the announcement, Trump’s personal account, which he had used for years leading up to and throughout his presidency became active. Previously, visitors to the profile were shown a notice about the suspension of the account.
The decision apparently was made following a Twitter poll posted by the world’s richest man on Friday night. The poll showed a result of 51.8% in favor of reinstating the former president, although the scientific credibility is unlikely to be to verified.
Trump was suspended permanently by the social media platform following the insurrection at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021.
At the time, Twitter cited several tweets from the then-president for violating the site’s Glorification of Violence policy, which it said existed to “prevent the glorification of violence that could inspire others to replicate violent acts.”
Musk is a self-described free speech “absolutist,” and his decision to unban Trump, while surprising, is not entirely unexpected.
Musk had earlier reinstated the accounts of controversial psychologist and political commentator Jordan Peterson, as well as comedian Kathy Griffin who was suspended indefinitely after impersonating Musk’s account.
On Friday, Musk responded to a question regarding whether or not he would reinstate Alex Jones, the disgraced founder and personality of the conspiracy website Infowars. Musk responded flatly, “no.”
It’s unclear if Trump will return to the social media site now that his ban is apparently lifted. He currently owns and operates a competing platform, Truth Social, that was started in the wake of his permanent suspension by Twitter.