Elon Musk restores Trump’s Twitter account

If Mr Trump goes back to the same content he shared on Truth Social, he could turn Twitter into a “hotbed of hate, harassment and hate speech,” said Joan Donovan, research director at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, which has investigated the spread of misinformation.

Mr Trump’s return to Twitter is likely to be a boost for his personal brand as he can now reach a much broader and more influential audience, she said.

“The difference between Twitter and Truth Social isn’t just a matter of degree. It’s a matter of influence – global leaders, journalists, technologists, celebrities, cultural figures, these are the people who are on Twitter,” Ms. Donovan said. Even if Mr. Trump simply tweeted links to his posts on Truth Social, it would strengthen his brand, she said.

Last month, Mr Trump said he was “very happy that Twitter is now in healthy hands”. In a post on Truth Social at the time, Mr Trump added that he was glad Twitter was “no longer run by radical left-wing crazies and maniacs who genuinely hate our country”.

Mr. Trump has wavered in his opinions of Mr. Musk. In July, at a rally in Alaska, he called Mr Musk an offensive term for appearing to have backed his political opponents in the 2016 and 2020 elections, despite Mr Trump saying, “He told me he voted for me.” Trump also said that Mr. Musk, who was trying to back out of his deal to buy Twitter at the time, “got a pretty lousy deal.”

Alex Stamos, the director of the Stanford Internet Observatory, said it was “strange” that Mr. Musk, who has complained for months about Twitter’s problem with bot accounts, would use a Twitter poll where bots could vote to determine that problem to decide Then assume that the result “reflects some sort of legitimate ‘voice of the people’.”

“It’s definitely possible for small groups to create large numbers of accounts to manipulate features like polls,” he added.

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