ITV News US correspondent Robert Moore reports on Elon Musk's decision to reinstate Donald Trump's Twitter account
Donald Trump’s Twitter account has been reactivated.The result is political uproar.
Rarely can a decision by a social media platform have created such an instant firestorm of controversy.
Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter, made the announcement - of course - with a tweet, following an online poll that triggered at least 15 million votes.
Musk finished his tweet with a Latin phrase that translates as “The voice of the people is the voice of God.”
It’s claimed that 52% of the votes backed Trump’s return to the platform on which he sowed so much disinformation for so long.
Trump’s last tweet was on January 8, 2021, just before he was kicked off the platform in the aftermath of his role in the January 6 insurrection.
Since then the former president has set up his own platform, Truth Social. It’s unclear whether Trump will now revert to Twitter.
The political reaction to the Musk decision has been predictably polarising. His supporters have praised the re-activation of his powerful Twitter voice.
But his critics, including his Republican nemesis Liz Cheney, are appalled, claiming his tweets were a megaphone for hatred and lies.
One reason the decision is so incendiary is that it comes just four days after Trump announced his 2024 presidential campaign.
It raises the possibility that he will use his Twitter account to amplify more misinformation about recent elections and attack his critics in aggressive and inflammatory ways.
This is also a story about Elon Musk as well as Trump: The world’s richest man has taken charge of one of the world’s most influential platforms, giving him extraordinary power.
Musk paid $44 billion for Twitter but has generated chaos within the company by ordering widespread redundancies and dismembering divisions that looked after ethics and social responsibility.
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For the four years of his presidency, Trump used Twitter as a real-time and uncensored megaphone for his ideas, complete with typos and misspellings, and for journalists, as well as his own advisers, it became an wild and exhausting exercise in trying to understand the president’s obsessions and mood swings.
Now we have a bizarre series of colliding forces playing out in full public view: Musk, Trump, Twitter, big tech, mega billions, a new presidential race, right-wing joy, and liberal outrage.
What it all means for American politics and for the future of Twitter may take months to sort out.