Elon Musk will reverse Twitter’s ban on the former US president Donald Trump once the Tesla leader completes his takeover of the social media platform.
On Tuesday, Musk spoke via video link at the Future of the Car conference organised by the Financial Times, revealing that he would reverse Trump’s permanent ban.
“I do think it was not correct to ban Donald Trump,” the 50-year old CEO and Chief Engineer at SpaceX said.
“I think that was a mistake. It alienated the country and did not result in Donald Trump not having a voice,” adding he viewed it as “a morally bad decision and foolish in the extreme.”
In January 2021, Twitter permanently banned Trump after he repeated violated company rules. The $13 billion company declared his tweets were “highly likely to encourage and inspire people to replicate the criminal acts that took place at the US Capitol on 6 January 2021”, referring to the Capitol Hill riots enacted by Trump’s supporters.
As reported by our publisher a fortnight ago, Musk is officially set to buy Twitter, with the board agreeing to a $44bn (AU$61.4 billion) deal on 25 April, revealing his initial stake in New York-listed Twitter after several weeks of quick negotiations.
At Tuesday’s conversation at the car industry conference, Musk also accused Twitter’s staff of being too leftwing, laying the blame on the company’s San Francisco headquarters.
Twitter is “coming out of an environment that is very far left”, Musk argued, adding it needed to be “much more even-handed”.
Musk’s latest public declaration may not see Trump return to Twitter however — in April, the 75-year old former US president told Fox News he would prefer to stay on the Truth Social network.
“I am not going on Twitter, I am going to stay on TRUTH,” Trump said. “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.”
If Trump did return to Twitter, it may give him a larger platform to affect the 2024 US presidential election, either with him as a candidate or impacting the Republican candidates.