Elon Musk asks Twitter users whether to reinstate Donald Trump

The new boss of Twitter launched a poll on Friday evening on his personal account. More than 8 million users have already voted, with for the moment an advance for the return of the former American president on his favorite former social network.

Elon Musk, owner and boss of Twitter for three weeks, announced on Friday (November 18th) that several suspended user accounts were readmitted to the platform, but that he had “no decision yet on trump“. The boss of Tesla, who says he defends an absolutist vision of freedom of expression, is expected at the turn about the former American president, banned from the social network for having encouraged his supporters before the invasion of the Capitol in January 2021.

On Friday evening, Musk therefore launched a poll in a tweet, in rather pithy language: “Reinstate former President Trump”, followed by the option to vote yes or no. Saturday morning, at 11 a.m. Paris time and 5 a.m. West Coast time, more than 8 million people had already voted. With for the time being a lead for the reinstatement of Donald Trump (52.7% against 47.3%). The Tesla and SpaceX boss enthused about the popularity of his poll, saying there were around “1 million votes per hour“.

The facetious billionaire does not specify, however, if it is a simple consultation for opinion or if he intends to line up with the vote of Twittos. In another tweet, however, he wrote, in Latin: “The voice of the people is the voice of God.” Donald Trump, who liked to use Twitter as a mouthpiece, was followed by more than 88 million subscribers.

“The politics of the new Twitter is freedom of expression, not freedom to achieve” the public, explained Elon Musk on his Twitter account. “Negative or hateful tweets will be downgraded and demonetized, so there will be no back-to-back ads or other revenue for Twitter. You won’t find these tweets unless you look for them specifically, which is no different from the rest of the internet.”, he added. Twitter seems plunged into an unprecedented crisis on Friday, after hundreds of employees of the group, survivors of the first massive wave of layoffs two weeks ago, decided to leave in response to an ultimatum from the multi-billionaire.

Elon Musk is also facing concern and criticism from advertisers, analysts and elected officials after many contradictory decisions and positions on the crucial subject of content moderation. The accounts he reinstated on Friday – Kathy Griffin, Jordan Peterson and Babylon Bee – are close to the American left or right. Comedian Kathy Griffin, who had two million subscribers, was suspended from the platform last week, along with other internet users who had changed their username to “Elon Muskto poke fun at the new boss. She had also replaced her profile picture with an image of the billionaire.

The influence of the former wife of Elon Musk

“Twitter accounts that impersonate someone else, without clearly stating that it is a parody, will be permanently suspended”, said Elon Musk. Accused of defending freedom of expression except when he is the target of jokes, he also made fun of Kathy Griffin, tweeting: “In fact, she was suspended for posing as a comedian”.

The Babylon Beeis a conservative-leaning American satirical site, suspended from Twitter in March for violating hate speech rules, after a tweet about Rachel Levine, a transgender pediatrician in Joe Biden’s government. According to Bloomberg, Elon Musk’s ex-wife, Talulah Riley, texted him in the spring, before he announced his plan to acquire the social network, to protest the suspension of Babylon Bee and tricked him into buying Twitter to delete or return it “radically pro freedom of expression”.

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