Twitter is now owned by Elon Musk. This implies, among other things, that Donald Trump’s indefinite ban from the social media platform might soon be lifted.
Musk stated in May, “I do think it was a mistake to ban Donald Trump, I think that was a mistake. “I would lift the permanent ban. Trump’s voice will only grow louder among the right by being banned from Twitter, which is why it is morally repugnant and just plain stupid.
Following the riot at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, Twitter first put Trump’s ban into effect. According to Musk’s statement on Friday, suspended accounts won’t be unfrozen until a new “content moderation council” has been established. Trump released a statement regarding Musk’s takeover of Twitter earlier on Friday using his own social media network, Truth Social.
Trump wrote on Friday morning, “TRUTH SOCIAL has kind of become a phenomenon.” I LOVE TRUTH, Trump continued, adding, “I am very happy that Twitter is now in safe hands and will no longer be run by Radical Left Lunatics and Maniacs that truly hate our country.” which, uh, okay
Despite Trump’s boasting about Truth Social, the former president’s primary platform continues to be Twitter. (Truth Social was the 43rd most downloaded free social media app in the Apple Store as of Friday morning.) Truth Social also has a number of other issues, such as a number of legal and regulatory issues.
Shares of the special purpose acquisition company created to take Truth Social public fell as it became apparent that Musk’s deal to acquire Twitter would succeed after much maneuvering. The problem of reach is another one.
Trump only has 4.37 million Truth Social followers, a tiny fraction of his 88 million followers on Twitter before his suspension. Additionally, Trump has been candid about the importance of Twitter to the development of his political prospects.
In a 2017 interview with Fox Business, Trump said, “To be honest with you, I doubt I would be here if it weren’t for social media.” Tweeting is similar to typing on a typewriter in that you post something as soon as I do to your show.
I have the ability to go bing, bing, bing whenever someone says something negative about me and I take care of it. If I went about it differently, I would never spread the word. But Trump has been adamant that he won’t return to Twitter.
In April, Trump declared, “I won’t be going back on Twitter. “I appreciate Elon Musk. I really enjoy him. He’s a really good person. When I was in the White House, we accomplished a lot for Twitter. I was dissatisfied with Twitter’s treatment of me. That is simpler to state prior to the owner of the company promising to lift your ban. Trump’s interests here are in conflict.
He has unquestionably MUCH more influence on Twitter than he will presumably ever have on Truth Social. His Twitter ban has severely limited his reach and diminished his capacity to steer the political narrative. In the event that Musk follows through on his promise to lift the embargo on the former president, Trump would immediately resume his ability to drive news if he decided to return.
Trump, on the other hand, has a financial stake in maintaining the viability and relevance of Truth Social. According to Forbes, Trump’s net worth increased to $2.4 billion this year in part because of Truth Social. Before Truth Social ran into legal issues and Musk’s acquisition of Twitter became official, Forbes noted in April as follows:
“Master of reinventing himself, Donald Trump now calls himself a tech entrepreneur. For the 75-year-old, who doesn’t even use email but instead scribbles notes in marker, it’s a stretch. However, he is not averse to entering projects for which he has little prior experience, and this position should prove to be much more lucrative than the presidency. His net worth has already increased by $430 million as a result of it.
Trump may find himself torn between his two great loves at that point: money and power. He tries to have it both ways, in my opinion, by returning to Twitter while continuing to post on Truth Social. Will that function? Only time will tell.
New information has been added to this story.