Billionaire Elon Musk, who is set to buy Twitter, has said he will reverse the platform’s “stupid” ban on former US president Donald Trump if his acquisition is successful.
The tech mogul said: “Permanent bans should be extremely rare and really reserved for accounts that are bots or spam, scam accounts. I think banning Donald Trump is not right.”
“I think it was a mistake because it alienated a large part of the country and ultimately didn’t result in Donald Trump having no say.”
“I will reverse the ban permanently,” Mr Musk more. “I don’t own Twitter yet. So this is not a sure thing, because what if I don’t own Twitter?”
Mr. Musk, who last week secured $7 billion from new investors for his $44 billion takeovercontinued: “I think permanent bans basically just undermine trust in Twitter as a town square where people can voice their opinions. I think it’s a decision. morally bad [to ban him] and stupid to the extreme. “
The Tesla and SpaceX boss announced his disapproval of the permanent ban that was shared by Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey.
Speaking to the Financial Times at a summit, Mr. Musk said Mr. Trump “will now be on Truth Social [another social media platform] as well as a large part of the rights in the United States and so I think frankly this could get worse than having a single forum where people can debate”.
In response to Musk’s comment, Mr. Dorsey wrote on Twitter: “I agree. There are exceptions (CSE, illegal behavior, spam or network manipulation, etc.), but permanent bans are one thing. Our failure and no effect.”
Joe Biden’s White House administration has said it is a private company’s decision about who will or will not be allowed on its platform.
Mr Trump was permanently suspended from Twitter in January 2021 following an attack by his supporters on United States Capitol cause many people to die.
The tech company said it made the decision after the January 6 riots “due to the risk of further inciting violence”.
Mr. Trump at the time had more than 80 million followers on the platform.
But once Mr. Musk announced he was interested in taking over the company in part to turn it into a free speech platform, questions arose over whether he would invite Mr. Trump back.
On Tuesday, the 50-year-old businessman said if someone writes on Twitter “something illegal… there should probably be a timeout, pause, or that particular tweet should be hidden or have a lot of traction… limit”.
Last month, Mr. Trump said he would not return to the company if given the opportunity.
“No, I’m not going back to Twitter,” the former president told CNBC’s Joe Kernen.
“I’m going to be on Truth Social for the week. It’s on schedule. We’ve got a lot of people signed up. I like Elon Musk. I like him a lot. He’s an outstanding individual. We’ve been doing this. did a lot for Twitter while I was in the White House. I’m disappointed by the way I was treated by Twitter. I won’t be going back to Twitter again,” Trump said.