InternationalI would lift Twitter ban on Trump: Elon Musk
─── 05:52 Wed, 11 May 2022
Elon Musk on Tuesday said he would lift Twitter's ban on former US president Donald Trump if Musk's deal to buy the global messaging platform is successful.
"I would reverse the permanent ban," the billionaire said at a Financial Times conference, noting that he doesn't own Twitter yet, so "this is not like a thing that will definitely happen."
The Tesla chief's $44-billion deal to buy Twitter must still get the backing of shareholders and regulators, but he has voiced enthusiasm for less content moderation and "time-outs" instead of bans.
"I do think that it was not correct to ban Donald Trump," Musk said.
"I think that was a mistake because it alienated a large part of the country, and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice."
Trump was booted from Twitter and other online platforms after supporters fired up by his tweets alleging election fraud attacked the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 in a deadly and failed bid to stop Joe Biden from being certified as the victor in the US presidential election.
Musk said he and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey are of similar mind in that permanent bands should be rare, reserved for accounts that are spam, scams or run by software "bots".
"That doesn't mean that somebody gets to say whatever they want to say," Musk said.
"If they say something that is illegal or otherwise just destructive to the world, then there should perhaps be a timeout, a temporary suspension, or that particular tweet should be made invisible or have very limited attraction."
Musk was adamant, though, that he feels permanent bans are a "morally bad decision" that undermine trust in Twitter as an online town square where everyone can be heard.
He noted that Trump has stated publicly that he would not come back to Twitter if permitted, opting instead to stick with his own social network, which has failed to gain traction.