Donald Trump may need to wait months for Twitter return due to Truth Social contract

SEC filings reveal ‘social media exclusivity’ clause with his own platform

Anthony Cuthbertson
Monday 23 January 2023 11:43 GMT
<p>Donald Trump received a ‘permanent suspension’ from Twitter on 8 January, 2021</p>

Donald Trump received a ‘permanent suspension’ from Twitter on 8 January, 2021

Donald Trump will return to Twitter after an exclusivity contract with his own Truth Social platform expires in June, according to a report.

The former US President is currently subject to a “social media exclusivity” clause that requires him to post “any and all social media communications” to Truth Social for six hours before posting to rival platforms, recently uncovered filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reveal.

The six-month rolling contract runs out in June and Mr Trump does not plan to renew it, sources told Rolling Stone, as he plans to use all channels available for his 2024 presidential campaign.

Twitter handed a “permanent suspension” to Mr Trump on 8 January, 2021, two days after his supporters stormed the US Capitol in Washington DC.

Mr Trump’s final tweet before the ban was: “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”

Twitter found that this tweet, together with another tweet calling for his voters to “not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form”, went against its ‘Glorification of Violence’ policy.

“These two tweets must be read in the context of broader events in the country and the ways in which the President’s statements can be mobilised by different audiences, including to incite violence,” Twitter wrote in a blog post explaining the ban of the then-President.

“Our determination is that the two tweets above are likely to inspire others to replicate the violent acts that took place on 6 January, 2021, and that there are multiple indicators that they are being received and understood as encouragement to do so.”

The ban was overturned after Elon Musk took over Twitter in a $44 billion deal in October 2022. The tech billionaire conducted a poll asking users whether they wanted Mr Trump’s account to be reinstated, with 51.8 per cent of the 15 million respondents voting ‘yes’.

Shortly after the poll, Mr Trump said he was not interested in returning to Twitter, despite having more than 85 million followers.

“I don’t see any reason for it,” he said.

Mr Trump remains banned from Meta platforms, including Instagram and Facebook, but his campaign spokesperson said last week that his team is in talks with the tech giant to have it reinstated.

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