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UPDATE 2-Musk says Trump’s Twitter account will be reinstated after poll shows narrow support

Written by Sheila Dang and Helen Koster

Nov 19 (Reuters) – Donald Trump said on Saturday he is not interested in returning to Twitter despite a slim majority voting to reinstate the former US president who was banned from the social media service for inciting violence in a structured poll. By new owner Elon Musk.

Just over 15 million Twitter users voted in the poll with 51.8% voting in favor of the replay.

“People have spoken. Trump is getting reinstated,” Musk wrote on Twitter.

Trump had appeared less than anxious earlier in the day.

“I don’t see any reason for that,” the former president said via video when asked if he planned to return to Twitter by a committee at the Republican Jewish Alliance’s annual leadership meeting.

He said he would stick with his new platform Truth Social, the app developed by startup Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), which he said had better user engagement than Twitter and was doing “extremely well.”

Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.

Trump, who on Tuesday launched a bid to take back the White House in 2024, praised Musk and said he had always loved him. But Trump also said that Twitter suffered from bots and fake accounts and that the problems it encountered were “incredible”.

Musk said for the first time in May that he intended to rescind the ban on Trump, and that the timing of any comeback by Trump was closely watched — and feared — by several advertisers on Twitter.

The billionaire has since sought to reassure users and advertisers that such a decision would be made with the content moderation board of people with “widely diverse viewpoints in mind” and that the account would not be reinstated before the council convenes.

He also said that Twitter will not reinstate any banned users until there is a “clear process for doing so”.

But this week, Musk reinstated comedian Kathy Griffin, who was banned for changing her profile name to “Elon Musk” which violated his new rule against impersonation without indicating that it was a satirical account. There is no new information about the operation or the oversight board.

There is no reason to return

Trump’s non-attendance may ease concerns among major advertisers, already unnerved by Musk’s radical reshaping of Twitter.

He cut the workforce in half and severely reduced the company’s trust and safety team responsible for preventing the spread of misinformation and harmful content.

These actions, and Musk’s tweets, prompted major companies to halt advertising on the site while they monitor how the platform handles hate speech.

On Saturday, Bloomberg reported that Twitter may fire more employees in its sales and partnership departments, citing unnamed sources, just days after the engineers resigned en masse.

If Trump returns to Twitter, the move would raise questions about his commitment to Truth Social, which launched in the Apple App Store in February and the Google Play Store in October. Trump has about 4.57 million followers on Truth Social.

Truth Social has been Trump’s main source of direct communication with his followers since he began posting to the app regularly in May. He has used Truth Social to promote his allies, slam opponents and defend his reputation amid legal scrutiny from state, congressional and federal investigators.

However, his agreement with the company opens the door for Trump to participate widely on other platforms. Trump is obligated to grant Truth Social a six-hour exclusivity on any post — but is free to post “political messages, political fundraising or voting efforts” on any site, at any time, according to a May SEC filing. . (Reporting by Sheila Dang and Helen Koster; Additional reporting by Jim Oliphant; Writing by Shankar Ramakrishnan; Editing by Kenneth Lee and Daniel Wallis)


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