Elon Musk Says He Would Reverse Twitters Donald Trump Ban
Could Donald Trump return to Twitter after all?
Elon Musk, who has reached a $44 billion deal to acquire Twitter, said the social network’s permanent ban on the 45th U.S. president was a “morally bad decision” and “flat-out wrong” — one that Musk would overturn, if he successfully closes the deal.
Twitter’s ban of Trump “was a mistake because it alienated a large part of the county and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice,” Musk said, speaking at a Financial Times automotive conference Tuesday, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.
More broadly, Musk said he’s opposed to Twitter imposing a permanent ban on any account. “If there are tweets that are wrong and bad, those should be either deleted or made invisible, and a suspension — a temporary suspension — is appropriate, but not a permanent ban,” he said.
That said, Trump has insisted he will not rejoin Twitter regardless of who owns it. “I am not going on Twitter. I am going to stay on Truth,” Trump told Fox News last month following the news of Musk’s agreement to buy Twitter, referring to Truth Social, the ex-president’s own rival social network.
Twitter banned Trump permanently on Jan. 8, two days after the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol by his supporters, citing the risk of ongoing violence if the then-president were allowed to remain on the social network. Other services, including Facebook and YouTube, followed suit in deplatforming Trump.
Last year Trump formed Trump Media & Technology Group, hiring former GOP congressman Devin Nunes as CEO, and in February 2022 launched Truth Social, a virtual copycat of Twitter that claims it is “free from political discrimination.”
Like Trump and other conservatives, Musk has accused Twitter under its current management as exhibiting a left-wing bias. Musk, the world’s richest person and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has said he wants Twitter to strictly follow principles of “free speech,” which has raised concerns that Musk would ease up on the social media service’s content-moderation policies — and potentially open the floodgates to misinformation and abusive behavior.
Musk has been lining up new financing for his potential Twitter takeover, which is still pending regulatory and shareholder review. At the FT conference, he said he expects the Twitter takeover to close in the next two or three months.
Last week, Musk announced $7.14 billion in new financing agreements for the bid, including $1 billion from his friend and Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison. Over the past few weeks, Musk has suggested a range of changes to Twitter, including authenticating all users and potentially charging companies and governments to use Twitter.
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