Twitter chief says to ‘ask Musk’ if Trump will be allowed back on platform

President has said he has no interest in rejoining Twitter as he’s focused on his platform ‘Truth Social’

Vishwam Sankaran
Tuesday 26 April 2022 14:52
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Speculation on Twitter's future following Musk's $44B platform buyout

When asked if former US president Donald Trump would be allowed back on Twitter following Elon Musk’s deal to buy the platform, the company’s chief executive Parag Agrawal said the question should be directed to the billionaire himself.

Twitter announced on Monday that the Tesla chief would pay around $44bn to acquire the microblogging platform, which will now be taken private.

“Twitter has a purpose and relevance that impacts the entire world. Deeply proud of our teams and inspired by the work that has never been more important,” Mr Agrawal said.

Speaking at a company-wide meeting following the announcement, Mr Agrawal told Twitter staff that the future of the social media firm is uncertain after the deal with the Tesla chief closes, according to Reuters.

At the meeting, he was reportedly asked whether Mr Trump – who was banned from Twitter last year in the aftermath of the 6 January 2021 Capitol riots – would be allowed to return.

“Once the deal closes, we don’t know which direction the platform will go. It’s a question we should address with him [Musk],” Mr Agrawal replied.

Mr Trump was banned from several social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, after the Capitol riots.

The former president had initially tweeted in support of the insurrectionists — finally writing “go home, we love you” — which caused the social media platform to conclude that he was trying to incite political violence.

Following Mr Trump’s ban from these platforms, many of his right-wing supporters have accused big tech platforms of violating “free speech”, and posing a threat to American life.

With the Tesla chief calling free speech “the bedrock of a functioning democracy”, and Twitter the “digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated”, several users on the microblogging site have questioned if Mr Musk would reinstate the former US president on the platform.

Mr Trump himself has said he would not return to Twitter following reports that Mr Musk has bought the platform. But it remains to be seen if he would change his mind.

I am not going on Twitter, I am going to stay on Truth. 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,” Mr Trump said, a reference to the launch of the former president’s own Twitter-like platform Truth Social.

But Mr Trump’s social media platform isn’t without its own concerns.

Last week, Truth Social was down for hours after being hit with a series of outages. Users flooded the platform with complaints with one calling it the “worst I’ve ever seen it”.

During the outage, users reportedly saw a “loading” page, and couldn’t access any of the platform’s already limited features.

Critics have dubbed Truth Social a “disaster” after daily downloads declined nearly 95 per cent since its February launch, and the app has remained a platform most people still cannot use due to its long waiting list.

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