Elon Musk tweeted Saturday night that "the people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated."
The news came after a Musk poll on Twitter poll found a 51.8% majority supporting bring Trump back on Twitter. Former President Donald Trump, who has vowed never to return after he was banned after Jan. 6, has yet to make a statement.
"The people have spoken," Musk tweeted moments after the poll closed before 8 p.m. Saturday night. "Trump will be reinstated. Vox Populi, Vox Dei."
The @RealDonaldTrump account was viewable against shortly after 8 p.m. ET. His follower count was reset, but it was quickly adding up. He was already at 72.4 million followers on his account, which is around double that of Joe Biden's account, and the @POTUS presidential account has just 27.5 million followers.
Trump's account on Truth Social, his own social media platform, has yet to post a response.
Musk started a Twitter poll late Friday, asking followers to vote on whether to reinstate Trump's account on the platform, with Saturday night final results showing 51.8% voting "Yes" among 15,085,458 votes.
"Vox Populi, Vox Dei" is a Latin phrase that roughly means "the voice of the people, the voice of God." He later tweeted about 1 million people were voting per hour.
If Trump returned to Twitter, the move would raise questions about his commitment to Truth Social, which launched on Apple's App Store in February and Google's Play Store in October. Trump has some 4.57 million followers on Truth Social.
Truth Social has been Trump's main source of direct communication with his followers since he began posting on the app regularly in May. He has used Truth Social to promote his allies, criticize opponents and defend his reputation amid legal scrutiny from state, congressional, and federal investigators.
His agreement with the company, however, opens the door for Trump to engage extensively on other platforms. Trump is obligated to give Truth Social a six-hour exclusive on any post – but is free to post "political messaging, political fundraising, or get-out-the vote efforts" on any site, at any time, according to a May SEC filing.
It is not clear whether Trump would actually return to Twitter. An irrepressible tweeter before he was banned, Trump has said in the past that he would not rejoin Twitter even if his account was reinstated.
And earlier Saturday, during a video speech to a Republican Jewish group meeting in Las Vegas, Trump said he was aware of Musk's poll but he saw "a lot of problems at Twitter," according to Bloomberg.
"I hear we're getting a big vote to also go back on Twitter. I don't see it because I don't see any reason for it," Trump said, Bloomberg reported. "It may make it, it may not make it," he added, apparently referring to Twitter's recent internal upheavals.
The prospect of restoring Trump's presence to the site follows Musk's purchase last month of Twitter — an acquisition that has fanned widespread concern that the billionaire owner will allow purveyors of lies and misinformation to flourish on the site. Musk has frequently expressed his belief that Twitter had become too restrictive of freewheeling speech.
The billionaire's efforts to reshape the site have been both swift and chaotic. Musk has fired many of the company's 7,500 full-time workers and an untold number of contractors who are responsible for content moderation and other crucial responsibilities. His demand that remaining employees pledge to "extremely hardcore" work triggered a wave of resignations, including hundreds of software engineers.
Users have reported seeing increased spam and scams on their feeds and in their direct messages, among other glitches, in the aftermath of the mass layoffs and worker exodus. Some programmers who were fired or resigned this week warned that Twitter may soon fray so badly it could actually crash.
Trump lost his access to Twitter two days after his supporters stormed the Capitol, soon after the former president had exhorted them to "peacefully and patriotically" protest. Twitter dropped his account after Trump wrote a pair of tweets that the company said cast further doubts on the legitimacy of the presidential election and raised risks for the Joe Biden presidential inauguration.
After the Jan. 6 protest, Trump was also kicked off Facebook and Instagram, which are owned by Meta Platforms, and Snapchat. His ability to post videos to his YouTube channel was also suspended. Facebook is set to reconsider Trump's account suspension in January.
In a speech at an auto conference in May, Musk asserted Twitter's ban of Trump was a "morally bad decision" and "foolish in the extreme."
Earlier this month, Musk, who completed the $44 billion takeover of Twitter in late October, declared the company would not let anyone who had been kicked off the site return until Twitter had established procedures on how to do so, including forming a "content moderation council."
Musk tweeted Friday that the suspended Twitter accounts for the comedian Kathy Griffin, the Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson, and the conservative Christian news satire website Babylon Bee had been reinstated. He added a decision on Trump had not yet been made. He also responded "no" when someone on Twitter asked him to reinstate the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' account.
In a tweet Friday, the Tesla CEO described the company's new content policy as "freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach."
He explained a tweet deemed to be "negative" or to include "hate" would be allowed on the site but would be visible only to users who specifically searched for it. Such tweets also would be "demonetized, so no ads or other revenue to Twitter," Musk said.
Bloomberg reported Twitter could fire more employees in its sales and partnership divisions, citing unnamed sources, just days after a mass resignation of engineers.
Information from Reuters was used in this report.
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