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SOCIAL MEDIA

Trump is back on Twitter: Why was he banned and when was he reinstated?

After a nearly two-year-long ban from Twitter, Donald Trump’s account was reinstated, but he hadn’t used the social media platform until his latest arrest.

Update:
Trump returns to Twitter, now X
MARIO ANZUONIREUTERS

“He’s back!” Donald Trump has returned to Twitter, sort of. The social media platform’s billionaire owner Elon Musk, who finally purchased it in November 2022, has rebranded it as X.

After he was arrested in Georgia on charges of subverting the legitimate 2020 election results in the state, he posted his mug shot, the first that has been taken of him of the four criminal cases in which he is currently charged. The post is so far the only one that he has put on the social media platform since being banned almost three years ago even though his account was reinstated last year.

Trump is back on Twitter: Why was he banned and when was he reinstated?

Trump was once a hyper-active Twitter user, that is until he was banned. At his peak in the final days of his presidency he was averaging nearly 35 tweets per day as he tried to sell the public on false claims of election fraud and call his supporters to rally around him.

He was banned in the wake of a violent mob mounting an insurrection on the US Capitol to prevent Congress from confirming President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election. Hundreds have been processed by the courts and are serving prison terms for their actions on that infamous day when five people died.

Trump himself is now facing legal jeopardy in two separate cases for his actions to illegally overturn the legitimate vote and for instigating the violence on January 6, 2021. Prosecutors are using his proliferation of past tweets as part of the evidence against him. As part of his “consent bond order” in Georgia, he is not allowed to intimidate codefendants or witnesses nor make direct or indirect threats “of any nature against the community or to any property in the community” including through social media posts of his own or reposting those of others.

His most recent arrest for his alleged involvement to subvert the legitimate results in Georgia, which Joe Biden won, the first time a Democrat had won the state since 1992, marked his return to the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. However, Musk reinstated his account nine months earlier after 51.8% of the platform’s users voted in favor of readmitting the divisive figure.

Meta followed suit in January 2023, allowing the former president to once again post on his Facebook and Instagram accounts. Then on 17 March 2023 YouTube ended his suspension on the video posting site. That same day Trump posted a video on both Facebook and YouTube titled “I’m Back!” His first posts on either since being reinstated.

Why isn’t Trump posting more on the platform formerly known as Twitter?

Only on the Facebook has Trump been actively posting. The social media platform was incredibly valuable to his campaign effort in the 2016 presidential elections. Twitter, X, has served more as his soap box from which to reach out to his followers.

However, he has an exclusivity agreement with Truth Social, the Twitter-like social media platform set up for him after being banished from others. That agreement prevents Trump from posting non-campaign material on other social media platforms until six hours have passed from it dropping on Truth Social.

The post on Thursday could easily be chalked up to campaign material as merchandise with the picture went on sale shortly after he left the Rice Street Jail in Atlanta. Thus avoiding the exclusivity clause with Truth Social.