One of the questions about Elon Musk’s pending purchase of Twitter is what will happen to Donald Trump. The former president’s account was banned on January 8, 2021, “because of the risk of further incitement to violence”, while Jack Dorsey was still the company’s CEO. Kept at a distance during an interview during the Financial times’ Future of the car conference and streamed live on YouTubeThe current CEO of Tesla and SpaceX responded to a direct question about the ban and what will happen if he takes ownership of Twitter.
With the caveat that “I don’t own Twitter yet, so this isn’t something that will definitely happen,” Musk said, “I think the answer is I, I would roll back the permaban,” citing a shared opinion with his texting buddy Dorsey that permabans shouldn’t exist except for bots and spam.
I have spoken to Jack Dorsey about this and he and I agree that permanent bans should be extremely rare and we would reserve [them] for accounts that are bot or spam/scam accounts, where it is not legitimate to be responsible.
I do think it was not right to ban Donald Trump. I think that was a mistake because it alienated a lot of the country and ultimately didn’t lead to Donald Trump not having a vote, he’s now on Truth Social just like a lot of the right in the United States, and so I think frankly this could get worse than a single forum where everyone can debate. So I guess the answer is I would reverse the permaban, obviously I don’t own Twitter yet so it’s not something that will definitely happen because what if I don’t own Twitter? But my view and Jack Dorsey to be clear, shares this view that we should not have permabans.
Explaining further, he said he believes the ban was a mistake because it “alienated much of the country and did not prevent Donald Trump from having a voice.” As he put it, it’s “honestly worse” for Trump to move to his own app, Truth Social. Musk capped off his response by pointing out that, at least so far, Trump claims to only use his own app and won’t be back on “boring” Twitter at all.