Trump will turn the scales of American politics around when he returns to Twitter

After Elon Musk bought Twitter, conservative Fox News host Tucker Carlson returned to the platform on Monday and posted a simple tweet saying, “We’re back.”

With Musk calling for more “freedom of expression” on Twitter, the next question is: How long will it take before the popular website also restores former President Donald Trump’s account? Twitter permanently suspended its account, two days after the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, due to concerns that its tweets to its 88 million followers could pose the risk of “further incitement to violence”.

Trump then praised his supporters who stormed the Capitol and spread lies that the 2020 election was stolen, and that then-Vice President Mike Pence had the power to reverse legal results. At that point, Trump was also banned from using YouTube and Facebook.

When Trump was banned from Twitter, he turned to emailing press releases and trying to launch his own social media platform. In conjunction with his retirement from the Oval Office, Trump has largely lost his unique ability to manipulate the news cycle with a single tweet. If Trump is allowed to return to Twitter, under Musk’s ownership, one of the most powerful accounts the platform has ever offered will be reactivated. He will have a greater ability to control the news again, mobilize his followers and opponents, and exert significant influence over the 2024 midterm and presidential elections.

I’m not going

“I’m not going to Twitter, I’m going to stay on TruthSocial,” Trump told Fox News after offering to buy Twitter for $ 44 billion. Sushil »in building an audience.

Given the power he once exercised on Twitter as president, Trump has used his account to incite divisions, spread misinformation, insult opponents, inform his government of political decisions he has made, put prosecutors under pressure instead of punishing his political enemies, and reprimanding the judges who ruled. against his allies.

No one has had as much influence on the social media platform as when Trump was on Twitter, says Licia Palin, a professor of information science at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Palin worked with a team of researchers to study how Trump uses the site, and to track the way his tweets resonate. And when Trump tweeted, he would “crush” the online discussion on any topic, says Palin, because of his large number of followers and deer tweets. And when Trump tweets, “It makes the information world we depend on lose even more credibility, even stranger,” Palin says.

Trump’s influence on Twitter can also be seen in the upcoming elections, experts say. Unlike other platforms, Twitter gave the former president access to much of his base “at any time, anytime, day or night,” said Kathleen Jamison, director of the Center for Public Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. And if the platform decides to fully account for Trump with his full list, he will have immediate access to large numbers of people, who have already shown an interest in him.

It is very valuable in political communication, says Jamieson. “If he wants to intervene on behalf of a candidate he has just endorsed in the midterm elections, it’s a key way to reach that number of people with messages in support of those candidates.

Returning to Twitter may help Trump reconnect with his base, but others argue that there could be a setback as well, as Trump could mobilize those who disagree with him. Trump’s presence on Twitter could be a “gift” to President Joe Biden “because when Trump tweets, he says things that alienate many people,” said Lauren Wright, a professor of political science at Princeton University, who returned to Twitter. You would give Trump another megaphone, but given how famous he already is, it could be of marginal benefit to him, and could lead to more setbacks. “He keeps saying these things that most Americans do not agree with, so it may not be good for him,” Wright added.

Since being banned from the site, Trump has used press releases and rallies to convey his message, criticized investigators looking at his financial transactions, and promoted candidates from politicians willing to republish his lies about “election fraud.” He also used his presidential title to promote his properties, praising himself for a successful shot at the golf course. And those are perhaps more signs of what could happen if Trump decides to tweet again.

• If Trump is allowed to return to Twitter, under Musk’s ownership, one of the most powerful accounts the platform has yet to offer will be reactivated. He will have a greater ability to control the news again, mobilize his followers and opponents, and exert significant influence over the 2024 midterm and presidential elections.

• Unlike other platforms, Twitter has allowed the former president to access much of his base at any time, anytime, day or night.

• 88 million followers of Trump’s account.

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