During an interview at Financial Times’ Future of the Car conference on Tuesday, Elon Musk said he would reverse Twitter’s permanent ban of former President Donald Trump if he were to assume control of the social media company. Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, offered to purchase Twitter for $44 billion last month.
Musk said it was a “morally bad decision” and “foolish in the extreme” for Twitter to ban Trump amid the Jan. 6, 2021, riots at the U.S. Capitol. Twitter said was meant to prevent the “risk of further incitement of violence.” Said Musk: “I do think it was not correct to ban Donald Trump. I think that was a mistake. It alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice.”
Musk has more than 90 million Twitter followers, and has been vocal in his criticism of the social network’s moderation decisions. Musk said that former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was in agreement that Twitter “should not have perma-bans.” Dorsey confirmed that he did agree with Musk, citing exceptions such as illegal behavior or network manipulation, writing on Twitter: “Generally, permanent bans are a failure of ours and don’t work.”
Musk believes Twitter exhibits a political bias that harms those on the right, saying: “I think Twitter needs to be more evenhanded. It currently has a strong left bias because it’s based in San Francisco. I don’ think the people there necessarily intend, or at least some of them don’t intend, to have a left bias. They just, from their perspective, it seems moderate, but they’re just coming after it from an environment that is very far left.”
Musk also repeated that while the company’s board had accepted his deal to purchase Twitter, it was not finalized: “I will say that I don’t own Twitter yet, so this is not a thing that will definitely happen, because what if I don’t own Twitter.”
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