- Twitter engineers faced technical challenges when reinstating Donald Trump’s Twitter account.
- Engineers struggled to find enough capacity to revive the account, Zoë Schiffer wrote in her new book.
- The situation got so bad that Musk offered to lend a hand, Schiffer wrote in “Extremely Hardcore.”
Engineers struggled to find the capacity to rebuild the account’s social graph, a task requiring millions of pieces of data to be activated and updated, Zoë Schiffer wrote in “Extremely Hardcore.”
The team’s first attempt at reinstating the account failed, resulting in a series of urgent Slack messages in the minutes after Trump’s account was supposed to go live, according to the book.
Engineers faced further issues with the “follow” button on Trump’s account and the follower count when they managed to get it up and running, she wrote.
In a message passed on to engineers by former head of trust and safety, Ella Irwin, Musk said: “Anything we need from Elon to help here? If not that is ok but wanted to confirm.”
Representatives for X did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider, made outside normal working hours.
Donald Trump, who has 87 million followers on X, was banned from the platform following the January 6 riots in Washington DC in 2021. Musk had previously called Twitter’s decision to ban the former US President a “grave mistake.”
A self-proclaimed “free speech absolutist,” Musk polled users about whether to restore Trump’s account — with 51% of respondents voting “yes.”
Trump has tweeted just once since his account was restored, choosing to post the mug shot taken in a Georgia court in late August last year. He prefers to post on his own platform called Truth Social, even though has has just 6.6 million followers there.
Musk also reinstated several other banned accounts under a “general amnesty” announced in November 2022.