The controversial ex-US President Trump is allowed to tweet again – after an online vote, the new Twitter owner Musk has the previously blocked account unlocked. But there is criticism of the approach: it does not correspond to "democratic customs".
Ex-President Donald Trump regained access to Twitter after users of the network voted in favor of it. The vote was initiated by the new Twitter owner Elon Musk. Just minutes after a small percentage of daily active users voted in favour, Trump's profile was reinstated. However, there is criticism of this approach.
The political scientist Ingrid Schneider, a professor at the University of Hamburg, criticized the fact that Trump's readmission through an online survey on Twitter corresponded to "non-representative and democratic practices". "The 'poll' could easily end at a time when the 'result' was pleasing to Musk," Schneider said when asked by the Science Media Center.
In addition, bots - automated programs that only pretend to be a real user - could have taken part in the survey, criticizing Schneider. "Musk recently wanted to set up a commission to decide on Trump's reinstatement, now he's 'solving' this question quickly and with a pseudo-democratic cloak."
The political scientist also takes a swipe at another Musk tweet commenting on the poll. "Vox populi vox Dei," Musk wrote in it - literally translated it means "The voice of the people, [is] the voice of God." The quote comes from a letter to Charlemagne written around 798 by one of his advisers. Musk should have read the entire sentence surrounding that quote, according to Schneider. In the German translation, this reads: "You don't have to listen to those who say, 'The voice of the people, the voice of God', because the crowd's addiction to noise always comes very close to madness".
After Musk had Trump's Twitter profile reactivated, his number of followers rose rapidly to almost 86 million. Before he was banned, Trump had more than 88 million followers. In an initial reaction, however, Trump was not very convinced of the idea of using Twitter again. "I don't see any reason for that," he said during an event for his Republican Party, to which he was connected via video. He will remain true to his own platform, Truth Social. Almost 4.6 million users follow him there.
As President, Twitter has been one of Trump's primary vehicles for disseminating his policies and controversial views. Shortly before the end of his presidency, however, he was blocked by the Twitter owners at the time on January 08, 2021. His behavior and his comments on Twitter about the storming of the US Capitol in Washington two days earlier were decisive.
Musk acquired Twitter for $44 billion at the end of October. The billionaire and founder of the electric car manufacturer Tesla had already declared in advance that he wanted to reverse Trump's ban on Twitter.