Elon Musk said Tuesday that he would reverse Twitter’s permanent ban of former President Trump if his $44 billion bid to buy the company is successful.
Why it matters: Musk told the Financial Times that the ban “was morally wrong and flat out stupid,” though Trump has publicly said he would not return to the social media platform and will instead use his own platform, Truth Social.
- Twitter banned Trump’s personal Twitter account days after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot because of the “risk of further incitement of violence.”
What they’re saying: “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.”
- “He’s now going to be on Truth Social, as will a large part of the right in the United States. So, I think this could end up being, frankly, worse than having a single forum where everyone can debate,” he added.
- “I would reverse the Twitter ban. Obviously, I don’t own Twitter yet, so this is not a thing that will definitely happen.”
The big pictures: Musk said he believes permanent bans on Twitter should be quite rare because they “fundamentally undermine trust in Twitter as a town square where everyone can voice their opinion.”
- “That doesn’t mean that someone gets to say whatever they want to say. If they say something that is illegal or destructive to the world, then there should be perhaps a timeout, temporary suspension or that particular tweet should be made invisible or have very little traction.”
- He said permanent bans could be reserved for “spam” or “scam” accounts.
- Musk’s offer to buy Twitter is “not a done deal” and could be in “two or three months” in the “best-case scenario,” he said.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with new details throughout.