Mon. Feb 6th, 2023
Elon Musk asks Twitter users to VOTE on whether he should reinstate Donald Trump majority agrees

Elon Musk started a Twitter poll late on Friday asking followers to vote on whether to reinstate former U.S. President Donald Trump’s account on the platform, with early results showing roughly 55% voting yes.

‘Vox Populi, Vox Dei,’ Musk tweeted, a Latin phrase that roughly means meaning ‘the voice of the people is the voice of God.’ The poll, which had around six million votes as of 2am EST Saturday, was open for 24 hours.

It’s unclear if Musk intends to abide by its result, with the billionaire well-known for his jokes and provocative behavior on the social media site, which he recently bought for $44 billion.  

Musk, Twitter’s new owner, said in May he would reverse Twitter’s ban on Trump, whose account was suspended after the January 2020 attack on the U.S. Capitol, which he is accused of stoking. 

Musk said earlier in the day that a decision to bring back Trump’s account was yet to be made but his decision to ask Twitter users for guidance on who should be on the platform is part of a huge restructuring of the company, including massive layoffs but also appears to be part of his own of having fun with his new $44 billion purchase. 

Elon Musk started a Twitter poll late on Friday asking followers to vote on whether to reinstate former President Donald Trump’s account on the platform

Early results showing roughly 55% voting yes with the poll open for a full 24 hours

Trump’s account has remained suspended since January 8th, 2021

On Friday he noted that no decision had been made on welcoming back former US president Donald Trump. Twitter watchers have been tracking closely to see whether Musk will reinstate Trump.

The reinstatement of accounts ousted for violating Twitter’s content moderation rules has been seen as a bellwether of where Musk, a self-described ‘free speech absolutist,’ wants to take the site. 

Trump was removed from the Twitter on January 8th, 2021, two days following January 6th riot at the Capitol.

The platform first suspended him for 12 hours and for the first time deleted his tweets after he praised the mob who stormed Congress after he said he ‘loved’ them. 

Trump’s final tweet: Twitter said that Trump was guilty of the glorification of violence by calling the January 6th rioters ‘American patriots’ in one of his final tweets before he was permanently banned from the platform

One of the deleted tweets read: ‘These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!’

In the deleted video, he poured more fuel on the fire, claiming the election was ‘stolen’ and telling the rioters that he ‘loved’ them.

At the time, and under previous management  Twitter said it had removed the tweets for violating their ‘Civic Integrity policy’. 

‘As a result of the unprecedented and ongoing violent situation in Washington, D.C., we have required the removal of three @realDonaldTrump Tweets that were posted earlier today for repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy,’ the social media company said in January 2021.

 

Twitter outlined the suspension of Donald Trump in a thread on January 8th, 2021,

It was the first time Twitter flagged a tweet as posing ‘a risk of violence.’ 

In a memo on Friday to remaining employees, Musk asked those who write software code to report to the 10th floor of the Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco by early afternoon.

The billionaire said in a follow-up email: ‘If possible, I would appreciate it if you could fly to SF to be present in person,’ adding he would be at the office until midnight and would return Saturday morning.

Trump has already stated he will not return to Twitter even if reinstated but with almost 90 million followers, it could be hard to resist

President Donald Trump greets the crowd at a ‘Stop the Steal’ rally on January 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C.

A mob of supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump fight with members of law enforcement at a door they broke open as they storm the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington

He asked employees to email him a summary of what their software code has ‘achieved’ in the past six months, ‘along with up to 10 screenshots of the most salient lines of code.’

‘There will be short, technical interviews that allow me to better understand the Twitter tech stack,’ Musk wrote in one of the emails, and asked engineers to report at 2pm on Friday.

The emails came a day after hundreds of Twitter employees were estimated to have decided to leave the beleaguered social media company following a Thursday deadline from Musk that staffers sign up for ‘long hours at high intensity.’

The exodus adds to the change and chaos that have marked Musk’s first three weeks as Twitter’s owner. 

He has fired top management including former CEO Parag Agarwal and senior officials in charge of security and privacy, drawing scrutiny from a regulator.

A White House official also weighed in, saying Twitter should tell Americans how the company was protecting their data.

Earlier on Friday Musk revealed Twitter had reinstated some controversial accounts that had been banned or suspended, including satirical website Babylon Bee and comedian Kathy Griffin. 

The Chief Twit, who dubbed the day ‘Freedom Friday,’ announced that Griffin, who had called him an ‘a******,’ would be reinstated on the social media after she was suspended for impersonating him on Twitter last week. 

Also back was conservative author and psychologist Dr. Peterson, who was suspended from the platform after saying transgender star Elliot Page had his breasts removed by a ‘criminal physician.’ 

The Babylon Bee – which had its account restricted in march for naming U.S. assistant secretary for health Rachel Levine, a transgender woman, ‘Man of the Year’ –  got full access to its account as well. 

Musk has widely criticized Twitter’s suspension policies and vowed to bring back prominent figures.  

The CEO’s latest announcement comes as the company lost 1,200 staffers who refused Musk’s ultimatum to adhere to a new ‘hardcore’ work environment or resign.  

Elon Musk said the accounts for comedian Kathy Griffin, Dr. Jordan Peterson & The Babylon Bee satire site have been restored. However, no decision has been made yet on Donald Trump

Musk added that Twitter will be a free speech platform, but that hate tweets will be demonetized and not seen by many 

The CEO’s latest announcement comes as the company lost 1,200 staffers who refused Musk’s ultimatum to adhere to a new ‘hardcore’ work environment or resign

Kathy Griffin (left) was suspended for impersonating Musk on Twitter last week. Jordan Peterson (right) was suspended after saying transgender star Elliot Page had his breasts removed by a ‘criminal physician’

Along with reinstating the three accounts, Musk, who describes himself as a champion of free-speech, outlined the companies latest policy regarding that very issue. 

‘New Twitter policy is freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach,’ Musk tweeted. Negative/hate tweets will be max deboosted & demonetized, so no ads or other revenue to Twitter. 

‘You won’t find the tweet unless you specifically seek it out, which is no different from rest of Internet.’

The Chief Twit added: ‘Note, this applies just to the individual tweet, not the whole account.’ 

Following his reinstatement, Peterson tweeted a picture of Jack Nicholson from The Shining, writing: I’m back. Thanks @elonmusk.’    

The Babylon Bee, a conservative Christian satire site, which could not post on its account until it deleted the offending tweet, also thanked Musk. 

‘We’re back. Let that sink in,’ the site tweeted, referencing Musk’s remarks after his Twitter acquisition.  

Jordan and the Babylon Bee tweeted their returns with a nod at Elon Musk 

In response, Griffin then went off on Musk from her late mother’s account Sunday night, calling him an ‘a**hole’ for joking that she’d been ‘suspended for impersonating a comedian’

Following his takeover of Twitter, Musk said that ‘no major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen,’ without the approval of a new content moderation council that has ‘widely diverse viewpoints.’ 

Along with Trump, the big names that remain booted from Twitter include Roger Stone, Alex Jones, Steve Bannon and US Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. 

Stone has said he wants to come back after being banned in 2017 for attacking a journalist. 

He was briefly back on Twitter in April using an alternate account as he said he was ‘anxious to see how strong Elon Musk’s commitment to free speech is.’ 

Steve Bannon is another former Trump adviser also looking to return to the platform after being kicked out in 2020. 

The former White House chief strategist had posted a video suggesting Dr. Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray should be beheaded.  

Musk is expected to bring back the Twitter account of former President Donald Trump after he was kicked off the site for posts made after the January 6 Capitol riot. The two are pictured here at the Oval Office of the White House

In his statement, Trump both welcomed Musk’s arrival at Twitter while trying to boost the fortunes of his own social media

Among those expected to be brought back to Twitter under Musk include former Trump advisers Roger Stone (left) and Steve Bannon (right), who were booted from the platform in 2017 and 2020, respectively 

One of the more controversial figures to be booted from the platform is InfoWars host Alex Jones, who was ordered to pay $95 million in damages over false claims that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax. 

Families of the victims branded Jones a conspiracy theorist whose claims have caused years of harassment and even death threats from his believers. 

U.S. Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene also saw her personal account permanently suspended earlier this year after spreading COVID vaccine misinformation. 

The congresswoman had received multiple warnings before her account was pulled.

Also banned on Twitter are David Duke, the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, as well as Milo Yiannopoulous, who was accused of stirring abuse toward Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones. 

Trump has said that he has no intention of returning to Twitter after he created his own social media site, Truth Social. 

 

Meanwhile, the mass exodus didn’t appear to bother the CEO billionaire. who claimed that Twitter usage ‘just hit another all-time high’ 

As chaos befell the sight over rumors that it was shutting down over the mass exodus, Musk tweeted: ‘What should Twitter do next?’

As it reinstated the accounts, Twitter reportedly lost multiple ‘critical’ engineering teams following a mass exodus that saw its workforce fall by 32 percent following Chief Twit Elon Musk’s  ultimatum to pledge to a ‘hardcore’ work environment or resign. 

Musk sent an email to his remaining 3,700 workers on Wednesday and gave them a 5pm ET Thursday deadline to either click a link confirming their willingness to work ‘long hours at high intensity’, or leave the company with three months severance pay.

Although it remains unclear exactly how many have confirmed their resignation, Fortune estimates between 1,000 to 1,200 employees have resigned so far, with Musk demanding all remaining coders show up to Twitter’s San Francisco HQ on Friday. 

On Twitter, Musk appeared unfazed by the mass resignations, claiming the site just ‘hit another all-time high’ in usage. ‘Let that sink in.’ 

As chaos befell the sight over rumors that it was shutting down over the mass exodus, Musk added: ‘What should Twitter do next?’ 

Matthew Miller (bottom left), shared a viral video of himself and coworkers counting down the moment they no longer worked for the company following Musk’s deadline

A former Twitter executive who recently left the company told CNN’s Oliver Darcy (above) that ‘[Twitter] will struggle just to keep the lights on’

Many shared their departures on social media, including a viral video from Boston as workers counted down their last seconds at Twitter.  

Matthew Miller, whose LinkedIn profile states he’s worked as a Twitter engineer for 9 years, shared the video of himself and co-workers counting down the moment they no longer worked for the company following Musk’s deadline. 

‘Happy New Year,’ Miller yelled inside Twitter’s Boston office. ‘Yay! Hooray! That’s proper for the circumstance.’

Following the deadline, A former Twitter executive who recently left the company told CNN’s Oliver Darcy that: ‘Elon is finding out that he can’t bully top senior talent. They have lots of options and won’t put up with his antics.

‘[Twitter] will struggle just to keep the lights on.’

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