Have you enjoyed your 473-day reprieve from @realdonaldtrump? Think back for a moment. Allow your mind to wander to January 8, 2021… How did you feel?
Perhaps you welcomed his sudden absence, taking it like a warm breeze in the dead of winter? Or, maybe you bristled at the idea in the name of “free speech?” More likely: You forgot about this development until very recently, as any sane person would.
Regardless of your position, you may as well forget it because I have unsettling commentary with which to replace it. When Twitter suitor Elon Musk takes the reins, Trump will return to the hellsite once more. It is only a matter of time.
Didn’t Trump literally just say he won’t rejoin Twitter?
So watch this space! Trump feeds on attention and will once again disseminate his cries through Twitter’s unholy megaphone, just not right away. For the moment, it’s more expedient for Trump to promote his social network, which I promise virtually nobody will ever ever use. As of early April, TRUTH reportedly had just north of 500,000 daily active users, paling in comparison to Twitter’s 217 million or so DAUs, as Vanity Fair pointed out yesterday. Sure, the former president has the power to juice an app’s ranking for, say, a few weeks, but check back in a year and you’ll see what I mean.
But looking ahead, when Trump’s 2024 campaign kicks into high gear, do you think he’ll choose loyalty to TRUTH Social, of all things, over Twitter and its outsized media reach? No. Trump is not loyal to anything. Given the chance, he will return. Next question.
How can we know Musk will lift the ban? He hasn’t said anything, has he?
Musk has said enough, but please, allow me a moment to backtrack.
When Twitter banned Trump, some of the president’s thirstiest supporters protested the move in defense of “free speech,” arguing that the safeguard against government overreach should also cover drivel on Twitter’s website. This is absurd, but Musk’s views on free speech and content moderation pretty much jive with their outlook, and conservatives know it. (Personally, I’d rather build a hospitable town square that people want to visit, versus one that celebrates these weirdos, but that wouldn’t be very Twitter, would it?)
Instead of wading into the nitty gritty of content moderation, for example, Musk seemingly wants to feel it out and hopes even his “worst critics” stick around to post. If that’s what he’s focused on, then why wouldn’t he also welcome Rosie O’Donnell’s worst critic back into the fold?
At least Jack trusts Elon, right?
It sure sounds like he does! Not long after Twitter’s board accepted Musk’s offer, Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey spoke up in support of the website’s incoming acquirer. After a strong caveat that, “in principal,” he does not “believe anyone should own or run Twitter,” Dorsey said that “Elon is the singular solution I trust” when it comes to “solving for the problem of it being a company.” And believe me, you can trust Musk—to singularly shrug and subject us to @RealDonaldTrump all over again.
Twitter’s decision to ban Trump in the first place came down to just two tweets, and hinged primarily on their timing and context following the January 6 riot. That’s shaky ground to begin with. Add in Musk’s management and posting ideology, which is not compatible with fussy concepts such as nuance, and baby, you’ve got a stew going. Instead, the serial CEO is far too busy union busting, hating on critics, and doing things for the lolz to concern himself with ideals like community health or treating people with dignity.