Donald Trump is back on the social media platform Twitter – now known as X – after a more than two-year hiatus. The former president marked his return to the site by posting a mugshot taken at Georgia’s Fulton County Jail, where he was recently booked for attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election in the state.
Trump – whose account was permanently suspended from the platform back in 2021 due to “the risk of further incitement of violence” in the wake of the January 6th riots – also posted a link to a page where supporters can make donations.
His return to the platform may spell the end for his personal social media venture, Truth Social, which has already wiped hundreds of millions of dollars off the president’s net worth.
Donald Trump Is Back on the Site Formerly Known as Twitter
This week, Donald Trump has returned to Twitter/X after a break of well over two years, posting his first Tweet on the platform since the 8th of January, 2021. His account was reinstated in November 2022 after Elon Musk's acquisition of the platform, but has been inactive ever since.
In the wake of the January 6th riots on Capitol Hill, the former president was locked out of his account for 12 hours after referring to the rioters as patriots. During the attacks, several people died, and over 130 police officers were injured.
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Two days after the attacks, Trump tweeted that “the 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!” and said he would not be attending the January 20th inauguration.
At the time Twitter/X said that this – along with several other tweets – indicated Trump was not committed to an orderly transition of power, leading to his permanent suspension from the platform.
The former president relied heavily on Twitter/X to drum up support for his presidential campaign prior to his election, as well as his policies during his time as president.
It’s likely the former president has picked a stronger password than “maga2020!” this time around, after Dutch hacker Victor Gervers successfully hacked into his account back in 2020 after guessing Trump's comically weak login credentials.
Trump Posts Mugshot to Spur on Donation Drive
Trump’s single contribution since his suspension was lifted at the end of last year has been to post the mugshot of himself taken at Fulton County Jail, Georgia, this week:
The president turned himself in for arrest on charges connected to his attempts to overthrow the 2020 election in the state. In a recorded call, the president now famously begged the state’s top election official to “find” enough votes for him to take the state.
Along with his mugshot – which has since been reposted by the likes of Donald Trump Jr. – Trump posted a link to a donations page.
The page asks visitors to “please make a contribution to evict Crooked Joe Biden from the White House and SAVE AMERICA during this dark chapter in our nation’s history.”
It also includes a box that, if checked, will ensure your donation recurs monthly. However, the check box isn’t positioned next to the smaller, greyed-out monthly donations notice, and sits instead next to a statement addressing the reader:
Idling on the page for too long prompts this pop-up to appear:
So, What Happens to Truth Social?
After Donald Trump was permanently banned from Twitter/X, he decided to set up his own platform, Truth Social, which was founded in October 2021.
The platform – which describes itself as “America’s big tent social media platform” – became the new home for the former president’s messages to his devout followers.
Truth Social is thought to have between 1.7 and 2 million active users – which pales in comparison to Twitter/X’s more than 400 million live accounts.
According to Forbes, The highly unprofitable platform is thought to be the main reason behind Trump’s plummeting personal net worth, which has been reduced from $3.2 billion in the fall of 2022 to $2.5 billion in 2023.
Whether Trump will keep persevering with Truth Social in an attempt to recover these losses is unclear – especially considering the platform only really exists due to his Twitter/X ban. It's been several months since his Twitter suspension was lifted and the mugshot is his first activity on the platform – which perhaps signals that he now plans to transition back to center stage.
Even if Trump continues to maintain a presence on Truth Social as he ramps up his Twitter usage, whether the platform’s right-wing user base will continue to spend time on the alt-tech site when they can get their Trump fix from Musk's network is an open question.
Throw in the fact that Twitter/X is now headed up by an owner more willing to entertain their ideas, and it could spell the end for the president’s social media venture.