American businessman Elon Musk – who concluded a deal to acquire Twitter – said that he would cancel the ban imposed on the site by former US President Donald Trump, describing the decision to ban it as “an extreme foolishness” and a “moral mistake”.
Musk – the world’s richest person and CEO of Tesla – said he is not yet the owner of the Twitter platform, but said he had spoken to Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and they agreed that “permanent bans should be extremely rare.”
“I think it was not right to ban Donald Trump, and I think that was wrong, because it led to the isolation of a large part of the country,” Musk added – in an interview with the Financial Times.
Musk recently struck a $44 billion deal to acquire Twitter, describing himself as a “free speech guru.”
Musk explained that his rejection of the permanent ban “does not mean that someone can say whatever they want, if they say something illegal or devastating to the world there should be a temporary suspension, or that particular tweet should be made invisible.”
The ban on Trump’s account – which had more than 88 million followers – deprived him of the main platform from which he was speaking days before the end of his presidency. This came after years of controversy over the way social networks manage the accounts of powerful global leaders.
Trump was banned from Twitter permanently in the wake of the storming of the US Congress on January 6, 2021, and Twitter indicated in its decision “the risk of further incitement to violence.”
Elon Musk said the decision cemented Trump’s views among people on the political right.
Trump said last month that he would not return to Twitter even if Musk reactivated his account.