If Mr. Trump reverts to the same kind of content that he has been sharing on Truth Social, he could make Twitter a “hotbed of hate, harassment and incitement,” said Joan Donovan, the research director at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, which has studied the proliferation of misinformation.
Mr. Trump’s return to Twitter was likely to be a boost for his personal brand because he can now reach a far wider and more influential audience, she said.
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“The difference between Twitter and Truth Social isn’t just a matter of degree. It’s a matter of influence — global leaders, journalists, technologists, celebrities, culture makers, these are the people that are on Twitter,” Ms. Donovan said. Even if Mr. Trump simply tweets links to his posts on Truth Social, it would bolster his brand, she said.
Last month, Mr. Trump declared himself “very happy that Twitter is now in sane hands.” In a post on Truth Social at the time, Mr. Trump added that he was glad Twitter “will no longer be run by Radical Left Lunatics and Maniacs that truly hate our country.”
Mr. Trump has vacillated in his opinions of Mr. Musk. In July at a rally in Alaska, he called Mr. Musk an insulting term for apparently supporting his political opponents in the 2016 and 2020 elections even though, Mr. Trump said, “He told me he voted for me.” Mr. Trump also said that Mr. Musk, who was trying to back out of his agreement to buy Twitter at the time, “got a pretty rotten contract.”
Alex Stamos, the director of the Stanford Internet Observatory, said it was “odd” that Mr. Musk, who has spent months complaining about Twitter’s problem with bot accounts, would use a Twitter poll in which bots could be voting to decide the issue and then assume that the result “reflects some kind of legitimate ‘voice of the people.’”
“It is definitely possible for small groups to create large numbers of accounts to manipulate features like polls,” he added.
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