President Donald Trump left Twitter during Jack Dorsey’s tenure but has now returned, sharing his mugshot on the platform.
Trump was banned after January 6, 2021, and even after Elon Musk bought the platform, rededicated it to free speech and unbanned the former president, Trump stayed away.
However, on Thursday, August 24, Trump underwent arrest procedures at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta, Georgia. He was booked, fingerprinted and photographed for a mugshot. The instant release of the mugshot turned it into an iconic image.
Trump subsequently uploaded the photo on his Truth Social page, a platform he created following his Twitter ban under Dorsey’s leadership. Shortly after, he swiftly returned to Twitter, now known as X, to share the image.
Alongside the mugshot, he added the words “ELECTION INTERFERENCE, NEVER SURRENDER!” and provided a link to his website, www.donaldjtrump.com.
On January 8, 2021, when Trump was banned, the platform’s safety executives pointed to the “risk of further incitement of violence.”
After the ban, Twitter released a statement, saying, “Following a thorough assessment of recent tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the surrounding context—particularly their reception and interpretation both on and off Twitter—we have permanently suspended the account due to the potential for additional incitement of violence.”
The statement continued, “In the context of horrific events this week, we made it clear on Wednesday that additional violations of the Twitter Rules would potentially result in this very course of action. Our public interest framework exists to enable the public to hear from elected officials and world leaders directly. It is built on a principle that the people have a right to hold power to account in the open. However, we made it clear going back years that these accounts are not above our rules entirely and cannot use Twitter to incite violence, among other things. We will continue to be transparent around our policies and their enforcement.”
Subsequently, details from the Twitter Files emerged, indicating that the platform’s executives had been awaiting a pretext to remove Trump. He faced censorship due to pressure from federal agencies prior to his ban.
Musk pledged to reinstate Trump’s presence on the platform by November 2022, following a poll that allowed Twitter users to decide. Trump’s account was eventually unbanned; however, he refrained from using it until August 24, the same day he faced indictment in Georgia.
This marks the fourth indictment for President Trump, who concurrently leads the 2024 GOP nomination race.
Upon Trump’s comeback, Elon Musk shared Trump’s post and wrote the caption, “Next-level.”
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 25, 2023