Elon Musk said on Tuesday that he will restore the banned Twitter account of former President Donald Trump if he succeeds at buying Twitter. The tech billionaire said it was morally wrong and even ineffective to ban Trump, since the action has not silenced him, but only amplified his voice. He said taking full ownership of the microblogging social media platform will take another 2-3 months.
Musk said former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey consents to the fact that permanently banning Trump was inappropriate and that reinstating him is best for the country. Although it was rumored that Dorsey consented to ban Trump following the January 2021 Capitol Hill insurrection, the Twitter cofounder agreed with Musk that Trump shouldn’t have been banned even though “there are exceptions…general permanent bans are a failure of ours and don’t work.”
Musk disclosed at the Financial Times’s Future of the Car conference that the decision to ban the former president permanently was wrong and will be reversed when he ultimately acquires Twitter.
“Permanent bans should be extremely rare and really reserved for accounts that are bots, or scam, spam accounts,” Musk said. “I do think it was not correct to ban Donald Trump. 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. I would reverse the permanent ban. I don’t own Twitter yet. So this is not like a thing that will definitely happen, because what if I don’t own Twitter?”
The Tesla and SpaceX CEOs made it clear that illegal and objectionable content is best made invisible to limit its traction, and very bad content should be deleted with the account placed on the temporary ban. He said posting a speech that is inflammatory and “destructive to the world…is wrong and bad” and should be hidden with the account suspended, but nothing permanent like a total ban.
“If they say something that is illegal or otherwise just destructive to the world, then there should be perhaps a timeout, a temporary suspension, or that particular tweet should be made invisible or have very limited traction,” Musk said “I think 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.”
Following his ban from Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, Trump established his own social media platform known as Truth Social, although it has not really gained global traction as expected. Given earlier speculations that Musk might lift his ban if he acquired Twitter, Trump said he would not be returning to the platform even if his account is reinstated.
“I am not going on Twitter, I am going to stay on Truth,” Trump told Fox News on April 25. “I hope Elon buys Twitter because he’ll make improvements to it, and he is a good man, but I am going to be staying on Truth.”