Elon Musk would reverse Trump’s Twitter ban in move to end permanent suspensions

The billionaire Tesla boss agreed a £34.5 billion takeover deal with the Twitter board last month.

Ted Hennessey
Tuesday 10 May 2022 19:02
Elon Musk has said he will reverse the Twitter ban on Donald Trump (PA)(
Elon Musk has said he will reverse the Twitter ban on Donald Trump (PA)(

Elon Musk has said he will reverse the Twitter ban imposed on former US president Donald Trump as part of his plan to make permanent account suspensions a “rare thing”.

The billionaire Tesla boss agreed a £34.5 billion takeover deal with the Twitter board last month and said at the time that as well as improving the free speech principles of the site, he was looking forward to “enhancing the product with new features”.

His takeover is expected to be completed later this year, with Mr Musk saying he would return Mr Trump to the platform after he was banned at the start of last year following the storming of the US Capitol.

Speaking virtually at the Financial Times Future of the Car Summit on Tuesday, Mr Musk said tweets which are illegal or “destructive” should be deleted or made invisible, but accounts must not banned permanently.

I do think that it was not correct to ban Donald Trump. I think that was a mistake

Elon Musk

He said: “I think there’s a general question of should Twitter have permanent bans? I’ve talked with Jack Dorsey about this and he and I are of the same mind which is that permanent bans should be extremely rare and really reserved for accounts that are bots or spam scam accounts.

“I do think that it was not correct to ban Donald Trump. I think that was a mistake because it an alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice… I think this could end up being frankly worse than having a single forum where everyone can debate

“So I guess the answer is that I would reverse the permanent ban, obviously, I don’t own Twitter yet, so this is not a thing that will definitely happen because what if I don’t own Twitter?

“But my opinion and Jack Dorsey, I want to be clear, shares, that we should not have permanent bans.

“Now, that doesn’t mean that somebody gets to say whatever they want to say, if they say something that is illegal or otherwise, just destructive to the world, then that there should be perhaps a timeout, a temporary suspension, or that particular tweet should be made invisible or have very limited traction.”

Mr Musk said the ban was a “morally bad decision” which undermined the public’s trust in Twitter.

He also spoke of wanting to build trust with users of the platform by showing them “how the algorithm works” and allowing them to “suggest changes”.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in