KEY POINTS

  • Musk conducted a Twitter poll on Friday asking asking the community if they want to reinstate former President Trump
  • The poll closed with the Yes votes winning by a slim 52-48 margin
  • But it turns out Musk has already made up his mind reinstating former President Trump's Twitter account even before the poll

"Chief Twit" and tech billionaire Elon Musk could have used the controversial Trump poll as a clever ploy to trap Twitter bots, according to Twitter users.

On Friday, Musk conducted a Twitter poll asking the community if they want to reinstate former President Trump on the social media platform and providing Yes and No buttons as the choices. In a follow-up tweet, Musk said, "Vox Populi, Vox Dei," the Latin for "the voice of the people is the voice of God."

After the poll closed, the Yes votes won by a slim 52-48 margin, but like always, it is not clear how many of these votes are bots or troll armies. The tech billionaire said more than 134 million people saw the poll, which had over 15 million responses. This means that only 11% of those who saw the poll participated in the online activity.

But it appears that Musk had already made up his mind reinstating former President Trump's Twitter account even before he decided to acquire the social media platform. Financial Times reported in May that the tech billionaire said he would reverse Twitter's ban on the former president.

"I do think it was not correct to ban Donald Trump. I think that was a mistake," the tech billionaire said, noting that the social media platform's decision "alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice."

Twitter banned the account of the former U.S. president on January 8, 2021 "due to the risk of further incitement of violence" after Trump's supposed role in prompting the Capitol attack on January 6. For Musk, the ban on Trump's Twitter account was "a morally bad decision, to be clear, and foolish in the extreme."

Since Musk has already decided on Trump's fate on Twitter even before he conducted the online poll, many believe the activity was a clever plot to weed out bots. Especially if one would look at Musk's tweet while the poll was live.

Red State columnist and NYT best-selling author who goes by the Twitter handle @BuzzPatterson said, "@elonmusk's Trump Poll was a bot trap! I love this guy." To which the "Chief Twit" responded with a winking emoticon.

Another user who goes by the Twitter name Dr Vincent Sativa said, "Did Elon set a trap to catch a lot of the bot accounts? I think he used the Donald #Trump poll to catch them. Elon is one slick SOB. I enjoy watching him work. #TwitterTakeover."

Talk show host and TV commentator Mike Crispi also said the same about the Trump Twitter poll. "Hot take: Elon was going to reinstate Trump the whole time. The poll was a honey-trap for the leftist BOTS that like to swarm and attack on here. So much winning tonight," he said in a tweet.

Twitter user @itsmattnow who hosts the podcast "I Got Time," said, "If the Trump Poll was indeed a bot trap that was a very clever one. Well played good sir, well played."

It is worth noting that this is not the first time that Musk conducted an online poll even if he had already made up his mind. In November last year, the tech billionaire sold 10% of his Tesla shares after the online poll responded he should.

At the time Musk said, "I will abide by the results of this poll, whichever way it goes." However, the Wall Street Journal revealed that he had already made the decision to sell those shares two months earlier, which is a trading strategy to keep executives from insider trading.

Illustration shows Elon Musk photo and Twitter logo