One of the first questions raised on Twitter after Elon Musk’s purchase was announced was whether Donald Trump would be returning to the platform.
But Trump told Fox News on Monday that the answer is no.
“The bottom line is, no, I am not going back to Twitter,” Trump said.
Instead, the former president said that he would be going on his own social media platform, Truth Social, which launched earlier this year to a number of glitches.
Trump said, “We’re taking in millions of people, and what we’re finding is that the response on Truth is much better than being on Twitter. Twitter has bots and fake accounts, and we are doing everything we can.”
Trump was permanently banned from Twitter following the January 6, 2021 attacks on the Capitol, as the company said that it was suspending the account “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” That followed years of complaints by Trump and others that the platform was biased against conservative voices, while the company has long maintained that suspensions and sanctions against users are for violations of terms of service.
The outcry from the right has led to years of complaints on Capitol Hill, with some lawmakers calling for changes or outright repeal of Section 230, the provision of a 1996 law that gives Twitter and other social media platforms immunity from lawsuits over their content moderation practices and for the postings of third parties.
President Joe Biden has called for reforming Section 230, but his criticism of social media has been that companies have allowed misinformation to proliferate, particularly about Covid and vaccinations. At the White House, Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Monday that “no matter who owns or runs Twitter, the president has long been concerned about the power of large social media platforms, the power they have over our everyday lives.”
Musk is widely expected to take a much more lenient approach to content moderation, and perhaps restore accounts of Trump and others who have been sidelined under current management.
Almost as quickly as word spread that Trump was not planning to return to Twitter, there also was speculation that his exclusivity to his own site will be short-lived, and that he would find it just too hard to resist returning to the platform that, day in and day out, helped him command the news cycle.
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