Elon Musk said on Tuesday that he’d permit former President Donald Trump back on Twitter assuming the Tesla CEO follows through with his plan to purchase the social media organization. Trump was banned permanently from the social media website three days after the January 6th assault on the Capitol in light of ‘the risk of further incitement of violence.’
In an exclusive interview with the Financial Times at the Future of the Car conference on Tuesday, Elon was asked the inevitable question: What about Trump’s potential return to Twitter? After replying with a commentary about the permanent bans as to when they should be applied, Musk said that he’d “reverse the ban” against Trump, adding, “I don’t own Twitter yet so this is not a thing that will definitely happen.”
Musk added that Trump has since turned to utilizing his own platform called Truth Social, which was made by Trump Media & Technology Group. Following Musk’s obtaining of Twitter, Trump noted that he’d still not consider going back to the platform, regardless even if his account was restored.
Rather, he told Fox News in April that the number of users on Truth Social is growing fast and that the platform is “much better than being on Twitter.”
“The bottom line is, no, I am not going back to Twitter,” former President Trump said.
— Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) May 10, 2022
But Trump using a different platform, Musk said, is “worse than having a single forum where everyone can debate. 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,” Elon continued. “…Banning Trump from Twitter didn’t end Trump’s voice. It will amplify it among the right, and that is why it’s morally wrong and flat out stupid.”
Trump was banned following last year’s destructive attack on the U.S. Capitol. Preceding the assault, he had normally touted ‘misleading claims and conspiracy theories of voter fraud’, both of which added fuel to the January 6 attack, during which a crowd of his supporters endeavored to topple the 2020 presidential election.
“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” Twitter said in an official statement during that time.
When Musk was inquired as to whether he remains by his statements considering Twitter’s original reasoning for banning the president, he said that “bad” tweets should be erased or made invisible at the very least. A “temporary suspension” would likewise be proper, he said.
“Perma-bans just fundamentally undermine trust in Twitter as a town square where everyone can voice their opinion,” he said. “I think it was a morally bad decision, to be clear, and foolishly extreme.”
Musk said that he thinks permanent bans should be “extremely rare” and mostly given to “bots, or scam/spam accounts.” However, that doesn’t mean individuals will actually be free to say whatever they want, he added.
Anybody who posts something unlawful or “destructive to the world” ought to face a “time out,” temporary suspension or have their twitter soft banned, Musk said.
Elon made a deal at the end of April to purchase Twitter for 44 billion, saying that after the arrangement was reported that he intends to guarantee free speech.
“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk said in a statement.