Elon Musk promised to bring former former president Donald Trump back to Twitter once he took over the social media platform. Over the weekend, the Tesla CEO made good on the promise,after a slim majority of respondents to an online poll by Musk voted for Trump’s return.
As of Monday, the handle @realDonaldTrump boasted 87 million followers. It has not posted a tweet since Jan. 8, 2021.The former president is one of several one-time pariahs who have been welcomed back under Twitter’s new management, along with other formerly banned accounts. Following is a list of accounts that have been restored to Twitter in recent days.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene
The Republican congresswoman’s personal account was banned in January for violating the platform’s COVID misinformation policies at the time. Greene had criticized COVID-19 vaccines as ineffective and railed against policies mandating vaccination and masking in public spaces.
Greene’s personal Twitter account was reinstated as of Monday afternoon. She posted the news from her official congressional Twitter account, @RepMTG.
“I’m the only Member of Congress the unelected big tech oligarchs permanently banned,” Greene tweeted. “My account is back. Go follow @mtgreenee for MTG unfiltered ;)”
The satirical right-wing outlet was suspended in March after tweeting an anti-trans joke about Assistant Health Secretary Rachel Levine. That month, USA Today named Levine a top “Woman of the Year”; the Bee responded by naming Levine “Man of the Year,” violating Twitter’s hateful conduct policy.
Regaining access to Twitter at the time required the publication to delete the offensive tweet, but the Babylon Bee refused.
“Truth is not hate speech. If the cost of telling the truth is the loss of our Twitter account, then so be it. We won’t compromise the truth just to keep our account,” CEO Seth Dillon wrote March 22.
After the Bee’s account came back on Friday, the publication tweeted: “We’re back. Let that sink in.”
The comedian was thrown off Twitter November 6 after she impersonated Elon Musk, changing her Twitter name to his.
After Griffin was banned, Musk announced a new Twitter policy, saying: “Going forward, any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying ‘parody’ will be permanently suspended.”
During her lockout, Griffin took over her late mother, Maggie Griffin’s account, to demand her reinstatement. “I’m back from the grave to say…#FreeKathy #TipIt,” the account tweeted. (It has since been hidden.)
Musk announced on November 18 that Griffin had regained access to her Twitter account. Griffin responded on Instagram, calling out Musk for misspelling of her name, tweeting:
“Dear Eilon. You f**ked up, fool. I’m going downstairs to my basement of heads. You’re up. Xxoo, The Beheader 💅”
The conservative psychologist and self-help author was suspended this summer, before Musk’s takeover. Peterson had referred to actor Elliott Page by his former name, which violates Twitter’s policies on harassment.
After his suspension, Peterson declared in a 15-minute video that he would not delete the offending tweet in order to regain access to his account, concluding with the defiant line: “Up yours, woke moralists. We’ll see who cancels who!”
Reinstated on November 18, Peterson thanked Musk with a photo from “The Shining.”
Peterson then immediately called for anonymous accounts on the platform to be eliminated, saying that “anonymous troll-demons” should be put “in their own hell.” The tweet prompted Twitter founder Jack Dorsey to weigh in and say eliminating anonymity “would be a big mistake.”
The kickboxer-turned-internet personality was banned from Twitter in 2017 after controversial tweets saying that women should bear “some responsibility” for being sexually assaulted.
“Sexual harassment is disgusting and inexcusable. However. A man looking at you or whistling at you or asking your name isn’t harassment,” Tate tweeted, according to Metro. “Take some personal responsibility. This zero blame game is damaging to the female cause as a whole. Protect yourselves,” he said. Tate has also said that women “are given to the man and belong to the man” and proclaimed he would rather date a 19-year-old woman than a 26-year-old because the younger woman has “been through less dick.”
After regaining Twitter access, Tate posted a video of himself smoking a cigar on an airplane, saying he was flying to California in order to “walk into Twitter HW and tell @elonmusk he’s a legend.”
The conservative media group — known for producing undercover videos that purport to show liberal bias in the press — was suspended from Twitter in 2021 for disclosing people’s private information, a charge it denied.
The group’s account had been reinstated on Sunday. It posted a message of gratitude:
“Thank you @ElonMusk for reinstating the Project Veritas Twitter account and for standing up for real investigative journalism,” the group said. It teased a Nov. 29 release featuring a “brave whistleblower inside the federal government” speaking about child trafficking.
The rapper formerly known as Kanye Weston Sunday.
“Testing Testing Seeing if my Twitter is unblocked,” Ye wrote Sunday afternoon. Musk responded shortly after, writing, “Don’t kill what ye hate / Save what ye love.”
Ye was locked out of his Twitter account in October after. The rapper had posted several antisemitic statements, including a now-deleted Tweet about “going def con 3 on Jewish people.”
Will anti-Trump users leave Twitter?
Changes on the platform have led some high-profile users to call it quits.
Musician Jack White over the weekend deactivated the Twitter account of his label, Third Man Records. In an Instagram post explaining the decision, White called Trump’s reinstatement “absolutely disgusting.”
“You intend to give platforms to known liars and wash your hands like pontius pilate and claim no responsibility?” White said. “[T]his is straight up you trying to help a fascist have a platform so you can eventually get your tax breaks. I mean, how many more billions do you need that you have to risk democracy itself to obtain it?”
White praised Musk’s work with Tesla and said he was a supporter of that effort, but said that welcoming Trump back showed that Musk had gone “too far.”
“I am a believer in free speech, but for example I’m not about to let the KKK hold a rally at our record label’s performance stage,” White said.