When Donald Trump’s Twitter account was reactivated on Saturday, his 87 million users waited in anticipation to see the 45th president’s first tweet on the plaform.
But hours went by. Those hours turned into days. Half a week later, many are wondering if Trump will ever come back.
Elon Musk himself posted a tawdry viral tweet depicting Donald Trump’s ‘temptation.’
And lead us not into temptation … pic.twitter.com/8qNOXzwXS9
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 21, 2022
Twitter users couldn’t help but wonder where the president was at.
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— OUTL4W (@PoliticalOUTL4W) November 21, 2022
The return of Trump was an event that had been built up in the public mind after Musk had earlier floated a Twitter poll about reinstating Trump’s account.
Vox Populi, Vox Dei
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 19, 2022
“Reinstate former President Trump,” Musk asked. “Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” he added, which is Latin for “the voice of the people is the voice of God.” This meant that the people’s decision would determine the outcome.
The rogue tech CEO’s poll burned up Twitter, leading to over 15 million votes. This put the tweet squarely in one of the biggest polls of all time.
Twitter’s reaction to the news about Donald Trump’s account was a mixture of jubilation and horror. Trump supporters burst out into celebration upon the restoration of the former president’s account.
BREAKING: Donald Trump wins Elon Musk's Twitter poll, majority of 15 MILLION users want former president back on platformhttps://t.co/mMJKX07bDu
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) November 20, 2022
Free speech, free will, free country. 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 https://t.co/YAjfky2EEn
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) November 20, 2022
— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) November 20, 2022
Meanwhile, Trump detractors unleashed their usual toxic bile and hatred.
This is truly Fucking disgusting.
— Jo 🌻 (@JoJoFromJerz) November 20, 2022
.@realDonaldTrump belongs in prison not on Twitter. This is bullshit.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) November 20, 2022
Many pseudo-celebrities and blue-check Twitter journos threatened to quit the platform. Some went to the struggling platform Mastodon, where it quickly turned into a ban-a-thon with a bunch of ‘hall monitors.’
Donald Trump himself had weighed in on the expected return during Musk’s poll. He had urged users to “vote with positivity” during Musk’s poll but said “don’t worry, we aren’t going anywhere. Truth Social is special!”
— Kristina Wong 🇺🇸 (@kristina_wong) November 19, 2022
But there is another reason that Donald Trump, now a 2024 presidential candidate, is reluctant to return to Twitter. He might get sued.
“Former President Donald Trump could stand to lose millions of dollars if he succumbs to temptation and resumes communicating with the masses through Twitter now that new boss Elon Musk reinstated his account,” the New York Post reported on Monday.
“Despite Musk’s apparent attempts to goad Trump into tweeting again, Trump has insisted that he is content to stay put at his own social media platform, Truth Social, which he founded after he was banned by mainstream tech platforms last year,” the report added. “The reinstatement of Trump’s Twitter account comes at a pivotal juncture for the 45th president, who recently announced his intention to run again for the White House.”
“Truth Social is a privately held property of Trump Media & Technology Group, which is owned by the former president,” the Post continued. “TMTG is locked into an agreement with Digital World Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), which was created to take Trump’s company public.”
“If Trump’s company were to go public only for him to devalue Truth Social by resuming his Twitter activities — and thus giving his tens of millions of followers a reason to abandon the fledgling social media platform and return to Musk’s outfit — shareholders could sue him, a legal expert told Semafor,” the Post pointed out.
“If it’s going to look, later on, that he never had that intention [of remaining off Twitter] but he just wanted to convince people that they should go ahead and close [the SPAC deal] that’s kind of a textbook securities fraud lawsuit,” Columbia Law School professor Eric Talley told Semafor.
There you have it. Donald Trump may give in to “temptation” and break the moratorium on Tweeting, thus opening himself up to a potential lawsuit. But since he’s a presidential candidate again, Trump may decide it’s worth it.
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.