Elon Musk says he would reverse Twitter's ban of Donald Trump
Speaking virtually at an auto conference in his position as chief of Tesla, Elon Musk claimed that Twitter's decision to ban former US President Donald Trump from the platform in January 2021 was a "morally bad decision" and "foolish in the extreme."
“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,” said Musk.
The hopeful Twitter owner also said that he thinks that temporary bans or tailored punishments are more suitable for online behaviour or content that is "destructive to the world."
Jack Dorsey, founder and CEO when Trump was banned, agreed with this viewpoint. Pointing to a thread he made when the decision was made, he said, "permanent bans are a failure of ours and don't work."
Musk also said that the deal to purchase Twitter was "certainly not a done deal." This statement comes despite increasing indications that Musk may have secured funding, including from people and organisations as varied as Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, cryptocurrency exchange Binance and VC firm Sequoia Capital.
Trump had previously announced that he has no intention of returning to Twitter, after the former president launched his own social media platform called Truth Social in February. When launched, the app rocketed to the #1 position on the US App Store within hours.
While Musk has not shown any indication that he considers Truth Social to be a competitor for Twitter, he has lamented the fragmentation of the online audience. To Musk, this is “frankly worse than having a single forum where everyone can debate.”
Twitter's share price dropped by 1.5% on Tuesday to $47.24 per share. This is far below Musk's guaranteed purchase price of $54.20 per share, reflecting the market's insecurity around the sale.