Former President Donald Trump made his return to Twitter Saturday night, nearly two years after being permanently suspended by the platform following a violent riot at the U.S. Capitol, in which his supporters stormed the building as lawmakers counted the Electoral College votes certifying President-elect Joe Biden‘s November election win.
Twitter CEO Elon Musk said Trump’s account would be reinstated following a Twitter poll he initiated.
“The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated. Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk tweeted. Trump’s account was live shortly thereafter.
The 76-year-old Trump’s return to the platform comes just weeks after Musk’s acquisition of Twitter became official.
Back in May, the 51-year-old Tesla CEO said that he would reverse the permanent ban against Trump if his then-planned acquisition of the platform moved forward.
“Permanent bans should be extremely rare and really reserved for accounts that are bots, or scam, spam accounts … I do think it was not correct to ban Donald Trump,” Musk said at a conference, according to a CNBC report. “I think that was a mistake, because it alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice.”
Trump’s account was first locked for 12 hours on Jan. 6, 2021, just hours after the riots began, when the platform announced it would remove three of the then-president’s tweets “for repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy.”
At the time, the company warned further violations of its policies would “result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account.”
The company followed through days later, announcing: “After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”
In a company blog post, Twitter cited two of Trump’s tweets — which included a declaration that he would not be attending Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20 — as a “violation of the Glorification of Violence Policy.”
According to Twitter, the statement could be “received by a number of his supporters as further confirmation that the election was not legitimate and is seen as him disavowing his previous claim made via two Tweets … by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Dan Scavino, that there would be an ‘orderly transition’ on January 20th.”
The company argued that Trump’s use of the phrase “American Patriots” in another tweet was “also being interpreted as support for those committing violent acts at the US Capitol.”
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“The mention of his supporters having a ‘GIANT VOICE long into the future’ and that ‘They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!’ is being interpreted as further indication that President Trump does not plan to facilitate an ‘orderly transition’ and instead that he plans to continue to support, empower, and shield those who believe he won the election,” the platform noted.