Trump Nixes Return to Twitter Despite Elon Musk Takeover

Trump Nixes Return to Twitter Despite Elon Musk Takeover

Trump said this week that even if his account is reinstated, he will not be returning to Twitter.

In the run-up to his effort to acquire Twitter and take it private, Elon Musk talked a lot about Twitter’s content moderation policies. Specifically, in a TED Talk earlier this month, Musk opined that Twitter has been too quick to ban certain accounts.

“I’m not saying I have all the answers here, but I do think that we want to be very reluctant to delete things and be very cautious with permanent bans. I think time-outs are better than permanent bans,” Musk said at the time.

Some have interpreted Musk’s TED Talk statement as a sign that the most famous Twitter ban recipient of all, former President Donald Trump, could return to the social network following a Musk takeover. And now that Twitter’s board has accepted Musk’s bid, White House officials are reportedly concerned, per CNBC, that Trump will return to Twitter, along with certain Republican operatives who have been banned from the platform. Michael Flynn and Roger Stone are among the Trump allies who have lost their Twitter accounts. 

Trump was permanently banned from Twitter in January 2021 following the January 6 Capitol riot.

However, Trump said this week that even if his account is reinstated, he will not be returning to Twitter.

"I am not going on Twitter, I am going to stay on TRUTH," Trump told Fox News. "I hope Elon buys Twitter because he’ll make improvements to it and he is a good man, but I am going to be staying on TRUTH.”

Truth Social is the social network that was launched earlier this year by the Trump Media & Technology Group. Trump himself has yet to post to the platform, whose launch has been plagued by technological bugs and reports of low download and engagement numbers. Two executives reportedly quit the company in the last month, Reuters reported on April 4.

And following news Monday that Twitter and Musk would likely reach a deal, the stock of Digital World Acquisition Corp., the parent company of Truth Social, dropped by double digits, bringing its year-to-date losses to 30 percent, per CNBC.

Musk has not specifically said that he would reverse Trump’s ban from Twitter. Musk and Trump aren’t exactly allies; back in June of 2017, Musk resigned from a pair of White House business advisory councils after Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords.

While Trump’s Twitter feed has been removed from the platform, the tweets live on at TheTrumpArchive website. The @POTUS45 account contains an archive of official presidential tweets during the Trump administration, although Twitter did not allow the National Archives to preserve Trump’s personal Twitter account.

Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Image: Reuters.