What you need to know
- Prospective Twitter owner Elon Musk says he would allow former President Donald Trump back onto the service.
- Trump was previously banned from Twitter and other social networks over the January US Capitol attack.
- Musk’s $44 billion Twitter purchase is pending.
But would Trump come back to Twitter if he was given the chance?
Elon Musk says that he will reverse Twitter’s ban on Donald Trump’s account if he completes his buyout of the social media service. Trump was previously banned on January 8, 2022, after he was accused of inciting violence at the United States Capitol. Twitter wasn’t the only social media company to ban Trump with Facebook and YouTube also doing so.
Speaking at a Financial Times autos conference, the Wall Street Journal says Musk confirmed that he would let Trump back onto the platform — as and when it’s actually his. The $44 billion purchase is yet to complete.
“I do think that it was not correct to ban Donald Trump. I think that was a mistake because it alienated a large part of the country, and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice,” Musk reportedly said. He also went on to say that he doesn’t believe that anyone should be permanently banned from Twitter. “If there are tweets that are wrong and bad, those should be either deleted or made invisible, and a suspension — a temporary suspension — is appropriate, but not a permanent ban,” he said, although it isn’t clear how that will prevent repeat offenders from doing exactly that — repeatedly offending.
The fact that Musk will allow Trump back onto Twitter if his purchase is completed isn’t a big surprise, of course. The Tesla CEO has previously claimed that Twitter’s banning of Trump and others constitutes an attack on free speech. However, Trump recently said that he wouldn’t jump back on Twitter even if he could. Instead, he’ll remain on his own social network dubbed Truth.
Whether that would actually happen remains to be seen, of course, and there is no guarantee that Musk’s purchase of Twitter will go through. If it does, however, all eyes will be on Musk to see what happens next, and not just in the case of Trump.