Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Why Trump Would Likely Return To Twitter If Elon Musk Lets Him.

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Elon Musk, the world’s richest man and soon-to-be owner of Twitter, caused a stir on Tuesday when he said he would let former President Donald Trump back on the social media platform from which he was banned in January 2021.

“I really don’t think it was right to ban Donald Trump, I think that was a mistake,” Musk said during a speech at the… Financial Times Future of the Car Conference† “I would undo the perma ban.”

That’s exactly what Trump and his supporters have long demanded – and even sue for. Trump has said he has no interest in coming back, and will instead use his Twitter clone app, Truth Social.

“I’m not going back on Twitter anymore,” says the former president told CNBC in late April† “I love Elon Musk. I like him a lot. He is an excellent person. We did a lot for Twitter while I was in the White House. I was disappointed with the way Twitter treated me.”

However, there is good reason to expect Trump to reboot his Twitter account if given the chance. (Muscle is expected to take over in the coming months, and Twitter’s sale is still not a foregone conclusion.) Trump built his political career with Twitter, combined with cable news† Until the day he was banned, Twitter was an incredibly effective tool for Trump. He had about 67 million followers, making him the most popular global leader on the app. And so far, he hasn’t been able to build an equally large or engaged audience since he was kicked off Twitter and all the other major social media platforms. Of course, people are also talking less about Trump these days because he’s not president anymore — but that could change as he’s expected to run for the Republican presidential nomination again.

Here’s why you should take Trump’s claims about Twitter with a grain of salt.

Trump still doesn’t have a good Twitter alternative

Rather than using Twitter, Trump has said he is moving his social media presence to Truth Social, the Twitter clone app he helped create.

Truth Social aims to be a “Big Tent” social media platform that rivals Twitter and Facebook and that encourages “open, free and honest global conversation without discriminating against political ideology”.

But in reality, the app is dominated by almost exclusively right-wing users and has had a rocky start.

First, the launch of Truth Social was delayed by several weeks. When it launched in late February 2022, most users were unable to login. The app built a waiting list of millions of people.

Truth Social’s CEO said the app would be “fully operational” by the end of March, but many are still reporting being on the waiting list, and those using it so far are reporting a clumsy user experience

The app’s financial viability is also in question, as the source of funding — a merger between a SPAC (a special purpose acquisition company, shell company whose sole purpose is to buy other companies) and the Trump Media & Technology Group — into danger comes as it is under investigation by federal regulators and faced with a drop in valuation† Two top managers also have resigned from Truth Social in recent months, less than a year after he joined the company.

And even if Truth Social solves its technical and financial challenges, it still won’t have the same massive reach as Twitter or Facebook. Right now, Truth Social has an estimated 2 million users. Twitter is more than 150 times bigger with 330 million users. It also attracts users of all political persuasions — including journalists and influencers — who respond to and amplify Trump’s posts, keeping him in the news.

If you’re a politician like Trump, you’ll make a much bigger impact by sharing your thoughts on a major social media platform rather than a niche app where you preach to the chorus.

Other than being banned, Trump has no real fight with Twitter

Until the day he was banned, Twitter has been an incredibly effective tool for Trump to promote his political agenda in real time, without the involvement of the press checking his claims or analyzing his decisions.

The only real problem Trump had with Twitter was that it banned him.

Sure, Trump wasn’t happy with Twitter started labeling in 2020 a few of his many false and incendiary tweets with warning signs and fact checks, but even that didn’t stop him from tweeting incessantly.

In the past, Trump had often claimed that Silicon Valley was run by liberal elites who he said censored him and other conservatives on social media. But now Trump has found an ally in Musk, who is increasingly… appeal to the right wing and also joins Trump in blaming Twitters current workforce of a pro-liberal bias.

Trump and his supporters change their minds all the time

Finally, Trump is constantly changing his mind. Like many politicians, he jokes about issues including: build a wall on the US-Mexico border and threatens to leave the Republican Party† And he’s generally receptive to people who support him, like Musk is doing now, even though they haven’t been his biggest fans in the past

Other conservative leaders, such as Fox News pundit Tucker Carlson, have quietly returned to Twitter since the news of Musk’s acquisition — calling it a “turning point” in history — after previously criticizing the company. Carlson was suspended of Twitter in March for tweeting that articles referring to U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine – who is a transgender woman – as a “man” were true. The Fox News host and his supporters framed his suspension as an attack on freedom of expression and declined to delete his tweet.

After Musk’s bid to buy Twitter hit the headlines in April, Carlson appears to have done so silently deleted the tweet that kept him off the stage. His account has since been restored.

In the end, it would benefit Trump to follow Carlon’s lead and similarly put his problems with Twitter aside. The former president is is expected to launch its presidential bid for 2024 soonand he could use all the attention he can get.

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