He's baaack! Watching the Trump Twitter reinstatement in realtime
For several days now, Elon Musk has been running a poll about whether or not to reinstate President Trump's Twitter account, yes, or no. I voted 'yes,' saw the yesses were in the majority, and moved on.
Musk has a habit of acting on his polls, he did so in the decision to buy Twitter itself, so it probably shouldn't have been a surprise that he acted to reinstate Trump's closed account. I saw it flash down my Twitter feed, and then did a search for Trump's actual account to see what was there.
Sure enough, I found it, at @realDonaldTrump, looking the same as it always has, complete with his two tweets admonishing his followers not to engage in violence nor disobey police, staring in front of me, just before the punks at Twitter shut it down while then-owner @Jack was on vacation in Tahiti. Jack Dorsey reportedly didn't want it done but with the cat away the rats did it anyway. Here's an old screen shot of Jack's thoughts about the matter shortly after:
The Trump account, viewable here, was clearly some kind of project to upload again. It showed no followings, and about a million followers. I clicked on the 'follow' button, and followed, but it only lasted as long as I had the page up. Move to another page, and the following fell off. Others on Twitter said the same thing happened to them. I tried clicking several times, and eventually did get the following to stick. Obviously, there was some sort of issue with the account, most likely the system was overwhelmed with new would-be followers and could only take so many at a time. Then the followings slipped to 62,000 followers, then 70,000 and at that point I got my following to stick. The follower base, though, kept rising.
At around this time, huge news flashes started rolling across my cell phone, major world-changing news from major newspapers, all branded either breaking, or breaking news. My email looked like this:
The New York Post, naturally, was first. The L.A. Times brought up the rear.
It was kind of a big deal.
All the while, as these headlines rolled out, I saw the following base of Trump's rise to 500,000, then 900,000, then 1.2 million. It then bounced to 22 million, and then 83.3 million, before bouncing back down this morning to 22.8 million
Obviously, a lot of people wanted on, confirming the results of Musk's poll and the public interest in seeing Trump back on the platform. It probably won't happen any time soon, given that Trump now has his own platform and a financial interest in its ongoing success. But now it was true that he was let back on and letting back on was a major operation. With the huge audience there, at some point, it's hard to think he won't rejoin it at least for a spell, give his high numbers of Twitterati who are his followers.
Former Trump aide Sebastian Gorka had the funniest tweet about the start-and-stop activity seen from the outside of Twitter as the huge lumbering account was reloaded:
Can you imagine being the ❄️ Twitter employee who has to reload President Trump’s account?— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) November 20, 2022
Gorka got 12,000 'likes.'
Now that Trump has more than a million people following him, awaiting his pronuncimentos, does anyone think he can resist the urge to throw them a bone? They are waiting. Once Trump does, the restoration will be complete.
Update by Andrea Widburg at 0917 Eastern Time: Trump no longer has "more than a million people following him." Now, he has 83 million people following him:
The numbers have been bouncing around a bit, showing algorithm problems, but I still would not be surprised if that number continues to ascend.
Image: Twitter screen shot