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Will Twitter reinstate Donald Trump?

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(New York) On January 12, 2021, four days after Twitter suspended Donald Trump’s account for risk of incitement to violence after the attack on the Capitol, his son Donald Jr. called on Elon Musk for a new social network to his father.

The richest man in the world, who paid Twitter this week for $44 billion, was not taking up the gauntlet at the time; but he could reopen the famous blue bird platform at 45and President of the United States.

In particular, analysts point out, in view of a re-election attempt by the Republican billionaire in 2024, sharply beaten at the ballot box by Democrat Joe Biden in November 2020.

Donald Trump, followed at the end of his tumultuous presidency by nearly 89 million subscribers, and his entourage are the subject of a congressional investigation to shed light on the organization of the violent attack on the Capitol on 6 January 2021: that day, thousands of his supporters contested Joe Biden’s final victory.

“I stay on TRUTH”

Banned from Twitter on January 8, 2021 because of the risk of incitement to violence, Mr. Trump nevertheless ruled out Monday to return to it: “I’m not going to Twitter, I’m staying on TRUTH”, he assured on Fox News in reference to the Truth Social network launched in February and presented as a conservative alternative to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

But that app struggled to launch due to technical issues and Mr Trump reiterated that he “hopes Elon buys Twitter because he’ll make improvements and he’s a good guy”.

Overnight Tuesday-Wednesday, Elon Musk tweeted that Truth Social was carving out croupiers on Twitter and TikTok on Apple’s app store.

“Truth Social (very bad name) exists because Twitter censored freedom of expression,” also launched the boss of Tesla and SpaceX.

Twitter is accused by Republican elected officials, activists and voters of riding for Democrats and violating free speech by suspending conservative accounts.

Before the takeover of Twitter, Elon Musk had often criticized the social network on freedom of expression and moderation of content, which he considers too severe.

“Freedom of expression is the bedrock of a functioning democracy and Twitter is the digital public square where vital issues for the future of humanity are debated,” he said again by buying Twitter.

Then, without saying whether he would reinstate Donald Trump or his banned supporters, he clarified his position: “By ‘free speech,’ I simply mean that which respects the law. The censorship to which I am opposed is that which goes far beyond (the framework of) the law”.

For the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) based in New York, this social network “plays a fundamental role in informing public opinion” and the association replied to AFP that it feared “a wave of misinformation ( which) sows doubt on the very notions of facts and information gathering, discrediting and fueling defamation against journalists”.

Sumayyah Waheed, of the Muslim Advocates association in Washington, also believes that “even before this acquisition, Twitter failed to enforce its own rules and remove prohibited and dangerous content that fuels hatred and threats”. especially against minorities in the United States.

Trump, the return?

She predicts in a statement “a very possible return of Trump to the platform” and fears that “Musk’s takeover will make Twitter an even more dangerous place for Muslims and other marginalized people”.

Many experts also believe that Elon Musk will bring Donald Trump back to Twitter.

Because the latter “sells”, underlines Karen North, director of study of social networks at the University of Southern California.

In fact, without a tweet for 16 months, Donald Trump has disappeared from the alert screens of the American and international media, but “people remain so curious and polarized by” what he says, deplores the researcher.

For Larry Sabato, professor at the University of Virginia, Twitter would again represent a formidable sounding board for the possible candidate Trump in the primaries of the Republican Party for the presidential election of 2024.

Mr. Trump is “the worst thing that has happened to American democracy in my lifetime”, laments the political scientist, but Joe Biden “did not fill the media vacuum” left by his Republican rival.



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