Elon Musk has said he would reverse the Twitter ban imposed on former US President Donald Trump if the Tesla boss completes a takeover of the social media platform.
Twitter permanently banned Trump in January 2021, citing repeated violations of company rules and his judgment that his tweets were “highly likely to encourage and inspire people to replicate the criminal acts that took place on Capitol Hill. American on January 6, 2021”, referring to the attack on the building by his supporters.
Musk, the world’s richest man by virtue of his stake in electric car company Tesla, revealed his initial stake in New York-listed Twitter on April 4 and agreed to a $44 billion ($36 billion) deal. sterling) on April 25 after several weeks of rapid negotiations.
“I would rescind the permanent ban,” Musk said Tuesday, speaking via video link at an auto industry conference hosted by the Financial Times.
“I think it was wrong to ban Donald Trump,” he said. “I think that was a mistake. It alienated the country and didn’t stop Donald Trump from being heard.
“I think it was a morally wrong and stupid decision in the extreme.”
Trump has publicly stated that he would not return to Twitter even if he was allowed to, preferring instead the Truth Social network founded under his name. However, Trump didn’t start posting on the struggling platform beyond an initial introductory post until May – nearly two and a half months after Truth Social launched. Many of Trump’s political opponents believe he is unlikely to pass up the opportunity to broadcast to Twitter’s much larger audience.
A return would potentially give Trump a broader platform to influence the next US presidential election in 2024, either as a candidate or as a kingmaker among Republican candidates.
Musk also reiterated criticism that Twitter staff are too left-leaning, saying he was swayed by having its headquarters in San Francisco, considered one of the most liberal cities in the United States. . Twitter is “coming out of a very left-wing environment,” he said.
“Twitter needs to be much more impartial,” he said. “He is currently biased to the left.”
He also said that the takeover of Twitter would not be complete in the “best case scenario” for the next two or three months. “It’s not a done deal for me,” he said.