Nov 19 (Reuters) – Donald Trump said on Saturday he was not interested in returning to Twitter, even as a poll showed a narrow majority in favor of reinstating the former US president, who was banned from the social media service for inciting violence. they voted by new owner Elon Musk.
Just over 15 million Twitter users voted in the poll with 51.8% in favor of the reset.
Musk tweeted: “The people have spoken. Trump is back in office.”
Trump’s Twitter account, which had more than 88 million followers before it was banned on Jan. 8, 2021, began to gain followers and had nearly 100,000 followers as of 10 p.m. ET Saturday. Some users initially reported that they could not track the recovered account as of Saturday evening.
Trump has shown less interest in recent days.
“I don’t see any evidence for that,” the former president said via video when asked if he planned to return to Twitter by a panel at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership meeting.
He said he would stick with his new platform Truth Social, an app developed by startup Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), which he said had better user engagement than Twitter and was “doing amazingly well.” does”.
Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.
Trump, who on Tuesday launched his bid to win the White House again in 2024, praised Musk and said he always liked him. But Trump also said Twitter was plagued by bots, fake accounts and that the problems it faced were “mental.”
Musk first said in May that he planned to reverse Trump’s ban, and the timing of Trump’s return has been closely watched and feared by many Twitter followers.
The billionaire has since tried to reassure users and advertisers that such a decision would be made by a content moderation board made up of people with “diverse views” and that no account resets would take place before the board convenes.
He also said that Twitter will not reinstate any banned users until there is a “clear process for doing so”. more
But this week, Musk reinstated comedian Kathy Griffin, who was banned for changing her profile name to “Elon Musk,” violating his new rule against spoofing, and without disclosing that it was a parody account. There is no new information about the process or the board of moderators.
NO REASON TO GO BACK
Trump’s no-show could ease concerns among big advertisers, who are already reeling from Musk’s drastic change to Twitter.
He cut the workforce in half and terminated the company’s trust and safety team, which is responsible for preventing the spread of false information and harmful content.
Those actions and Musk’s tweets have prompted major companies to stop advertising on the site as they monitor how the platform handles hate speech.
On Saturday, Bloomberg reported that Twitter could lay off more employees in its sales and partnerships divisions, days after a mass resignation of engineers, citing unnamed sources.
If Trump returns to Twitter, the move will raise questions about his commitment to Social Truth, which launched in February on Apple’s App Store and in October on Google’s Play Store. Trump has about 4.57 million followers on Social Truth.
Truth Social has been Trump’s primary source of direct communication with his followers since he began posting regularly on the program in May. He has used Social Truth to promote his allies, criticize opponents and defend his reputation under legal scrutiny from state, congressional and federal investigators.
However, his deal with the company opens the door for Trump to communicate more widely on other platforms. Trump is required to give Truth Social a six-hour exclusivity period on any post — but is free to post “political messaging, political fundraising or polling efforts” on any site at any time, according to the SEC’s request. .
Reporting by Sheila Dang and Helen Koster; Additional reporting by Jim Oliphant; Written by Shankar Ramakrishnan; Edited by Daniel Wallis and Christopher Cushing
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