Tue | May 17, 2022

Musk says he would reverse Twitter’s ban of Donald Trump

Published:Tuesday | May 10, 2022 | 4:58 PM
Elon Musk speaks at the SATELLITE Conference and Exhibition on March 9, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

LONDON (AP) — Elon Musk said Twitter would reverse its ban of former President Donald Trump if his purchase of the social media company goes through, signalling just how permissive the platform could become toward free speech under his ownership.

Speaking virtually at an auto conference, Musk said Tuesday that Twitter's ban of Trump following the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the US Capitol 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, adding that he preferred temporary suspensions and other narrowly tailored punishments for content that is illegal or otherwise “destructive to the world.”

Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey voiced his agreement in a Tuesday tweet in which he said “generally permanent bans are a failure of ours and don't work.”

Shares of Twitter dropped 1.5% Tuesday to $47.24 per share.

That's 13 percent below the offer of $54.20 per share — or $44 billion — that Musk made on April 14, a reflection of Wall Street's concerns that the deal could still fall through. Musk emphasised Tuesday that it is “certainly not a done deal.”

Musk has repeatedly criticised Twitter's content moderation decisions, including banning Trump for “incitement of violence,” but had mostly avoided saying what he would do about Trump's account. 

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