Elon Musk, the soon-to-be owner of Twitter, has announced that he would reverse former President Donald Trump’s permanent ban from the platform.
Musk made the announcement while speaking at the Financial Times’s “Future of the Car” event.
“I think it was a morally bad decision to be clear and foolish in the extreme,” Musk said.
Elon Musk: “I would reverse” President Trump’s ban from Twitter
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) May 10, 2022
“I do think it was not correct to ban Donald Trump. I think that was a mistake,” Musk continued. “It alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice.”
Trump was banned from the platform two days after the protest at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The company claimed that the ban was due to “risk of further incitement of violence” from the then-president.
After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.https://t.co/CBpE1I6j8Y
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) January 8, 2021
“In the context of horrific events this week, we made it clear on Wednesday that additional violations of the Twitter Rules would potentially result in this very course of action. Our public interest framework exists to enable the public to hear from elected officials and world leaders directly. It is built on a principle that the people have a right to hold power to account in the open,” Twitter said in a statement at the time.
The company cited two tweets from the then-president as reasons for the ban. One read, “The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”
The second read, “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”
The statement from Twitter said that, “After assessing the language in these Tweets against our Glorification of Violence policy, we have determined that these Tweets are in violation of the Glorification of Violence Policy and the user @realDonaldTrump should be immediately permanently suspended from the service.”
They claimed that by saying he would not be attending the inauguration, it made it a target for those who support him, writing that it may “serve as encouragement to those potentially considering violent acts that the Inauguration would be a ‘safe’ target, as he will not be attending.”
At the time of his ban, Trump had over 80 million followers on the platform.
Trump has since filed a lawsuit against Twitter, though it was thrown out by a judge earlier this month.
However, after the news of Musk’s takeover broke, Trump said that he has no interest in rejoining the platform.
“No, I won’t be going back on Twitter,” Trump told CNBC’s Joe Kernen last month. “I will be on Truth Social within the week. Its on schedule. We have a lot of people signed up. I like Elon Musk. I like him a lot. He’s an excellent individual. We did a lot for Twitter when I was in the White House. I was disappointed by the way I was treated by Twitter. I won’t be going back on Twitter.”
Trump has since launched his own social media company, Truth Social, which he has recently began using. As of Tuesday, he had 2.66 million followers on his platform.
Musk has recently criticized Twitter for having a “strong left wing bias” in response to a tweet from author and political commentator Mike Cernovich.
Here you go @elonmusk, when Twitter employees invariably lie to you about enforcement policy, maybe they can explain why a verified account is allowed to incite terrorism without any care in the world about being banned. pic.twitter.com/rCpuf5e1Ry
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) May 9, 2022
“Here you go @elonmusk, when Twitter employees invariably lie to you about enforcement policy, maybe they can explain why a verified account is allowed to incite terrorism without any care in the world about being banned,” Cernovich wrote in a tweet.
In response, Musk wrote that “Twitter obv has a strong left wing bias.”
In a follow-up tweet, Musk added, “like I said, my preference is to hew close to the laws of countries in which Twitter operates. If the citizens want something banned, then pass a law to do so, otherwise it should be allowed.”
Like I said, my preference is to hew close to the laws of countries in which Twitter operates. If the citizens want something banned, then pass a law to do so, otherwise it should be allowed.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 9, 2022