Businessman Elon Musk said Tuesday he will lift the Twitter ban on former President Donald Trump after the deal for purchasing the company becomes final, saying a permanent ban on users is morally wrong.
Trump was banned from Twitter in January 2020 following the attack on the U.S. capitol.
"I would reverse the permanent ban," Musk said. "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?"
Musk would reverse Trump's Twitter ban:— The Recount (@therecount) May 10, 2022
• Ban was "morally bad" & "mistake because it alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice."
• Permanent bans "undermine trust"
• "It will amplify [Trump's voice] among the right" pic.twitter.com/TJwjCZc4EY
Musk called Twitter's ban on Trump a "mistake" and noted that Trump has since started his own social media network, Truth Social. Banning Trump, Musk said, "alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Trump not having a voice."
Many social media users on the Right, Musk argued, previously abandoned Twitter in favor of platforms where those on the Right congregate. That, in turn, prevented ideas from being discussed and debated, he said.
Musk favors a "single forum where everyone can debate," he said.
"Banning Trump from Twitter didn't end Trump's voice," Musk said. "It will amplify it among the Right. And this is why it is morally wrong and flat-out stupid."
Permanent bans, he said, should be reserved for spam and bots.
"That doesn't mean that somebody gets to say whatever they want to say. 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. "But I think permanent bans just fundamentally undermine trust in Twitter as a town square where everyone can voice their opinion."
Trump previously said he will remain on Truth Social.
"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," he had said.
Photo courtesy: ©Sara Kurfess/Joshua Hoehne/Unsplash.jpg
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.