Elon Musk admitted that he would undo former President Donald Trump’s permanent ban from Twitter if his $44 billion deal goes through it during a keynote interview as part of a Financial Times conference on Tuesday, May 10. He voiced his disapproval of “perma-bans” across the social platform, and he said that banning Trump didn’t have the same effect that was anticipated.
The SpaceX founder admitted that he disagreed with the decision to give Trump the boot from the website, pointing to the fact that the former President has launched his own platform with Truth Social. “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 it did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice. He is now going to be on Truth Social, as will a large part of the right in the United States,” he said.
Elon continued, saying that he disagreed with permanent bans as a whole. “I would reverse the perma-ban. I don’t own Twitter yet. So this is not a thing that would definitely happen, because what if I don’t own Twitter? My opinion and [Twitter co-founder and CEO] Jack Dorsey—I want to be clear—shares this opinion is that we should not have perma-bans.”
Trump was banned from Twitter after his account was suspended following the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol in 2021. After his suspension on January 6, he was permanently banned two days later on January 8. As Elon stated, Trump has since launched his own platform Truth Social. Before Elon’s deal with Twitter was announced, Trump showed his support for the billionaire buying the app (but said he still wouldn’t go back) in an April interview with Fox. “I am not going on Twitter, I am going to stay on TRUTH,” he said. “I hope Elon buys Twitter because he’ll make improvements to it and he is a good man, but I am going to be staying on TRUTH.”
Before moving on, Elon further explained situations when someone should be suspended from Twitter or have information hidden, including illegal or “destructive” activity. He continued to explain why he felt that perma-bans hurt the platform. “I think permanent bans undermine Twitter as a town square where everyone can voice their opinion. I think it was a morally bad decision and foolish in the extreme [to ban Trump],” he said.