Speaking at the Financial Times’ Future of the Car conference yesterday, Tesla CEO and possible new Twitter owner Elon Musk said he would reverse the ban imposed on former President Donald Trump’s account after the Capitol riots, as reported by CNN.
Trump’s account was permanently suspended in January 2021 for violating Twitter’s rules against violence incitement. The company cited two specific tweets about why the ban was a “violation of the Glorification of Violence Policy.” The former President was also banned from Facebook indefinitely around the same time. Musk previously stated Twitter should be more “reluctant to delete things” and “very cautious with permanent bans” – going forward to label the Trump account decision to be a “mistake.”
“Permanent bans should be extremely rare and really reserved for accounts that are bots, or scam, spam accounts … I do think it was not correct to ban Donald Trump,” Musk said, according to a CNBC report. “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.”
Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey, who decided to ban former President Trump’s account, tweeted that he felt permanent bans “don’t work.” Musk explained his potential decision, “Banning Trump from Twitter didn’t end Trump’s voice; it will amplify it among the right, which is why it’s morally wrong and flat out stupid,” Musk said at the event.
The company has previously stated its algorithms and employees do not discriminate against any particular political point of view. According to research, Twitter “amplifies more tweets from rightwing politicians and news outlets than content from leftwing sources.” Still, Musk believes there is a political bias hindering the right.
“I think Twitter needs to be much more evenhanded. It currently has a strong left bias because it’s based in San Francisco,” he said. “I don’t think the people there necessarily intend, or at least some of them don’t intend, to have a left bias. They just, from their perspective, it seems moderate, but they’re just coming after it from an environment that is very far left.”