On Tuesday at the Financial Times Future of the Car conference, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and future owner of Twitter, said that he will reinstate former President Donald Trump if his $44 billion deal to purchase Twitter goes through.
Musk stated that the ban was “morally wrong and flat-out stupid” since he believes that the banning of Trump led to the amplification, rather than the silencing, of the former president’s views:
“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.”
Additionally, Musk added that Trump’s behavior may have warranted “a temporary suspension…but not a permanent ban.”
Trump was permanently suspended from Twitter after January 6th with Twitter justifying its suspension in a statement saying that keeping Trump on Twitter could lead to “the risk of further incitement of violence”
Trump has said that he does not plan to return to Twitter and instead he has begun to utilize his own platform, Truth Social, to post his thoughts on everyday politics.
However, Trump’s actions, such as his lawsuit to try to reinstate his social media, demonstrate that the former president would like to send his daily tweets again.
Musk has emphasized that he sees Twitter as the modern public square and that the protection of free speech leads to a healthy democracy with him tweeting before the $44 billion deal went public that “Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy.”
Whether Trump decides to return to Twitter or not, Musk’s move to reinstate the 45th President’s account demonstrates Musk’s commitment to being a free speech absolutist, and Twitter may once again serve as an outlet for President Trump to reach his supporters.
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