Elon Musk Says Banning Trump From Twitter Was “Morally Wrong & Flat Out Stupid”

In Brief

  • The Facts:
    • In an interview with the financial times, Elon Musk said that he would reinstate Donald Trump's Twitter account.

    • Musk said that permabans should be used for bots and spam accounts not for anyone legit.

    • He made a point of mentioning that former Twitter CEO and co-founder, Jack Dorsey, agrees with him on permabans.

  • Reflect On:
    • Should anybody have the right to silence someone else's voice and take away their freedom of speech?

    • Has this been done by governments and social media outlets for the collective good, or to protect their interests and agendas?

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In an interview with the Financial Times Elon Musk was asked, “Are you planning on letting Donald Trump back on [twitter]?” Musk made it clear that he has yet to fully acquire Twitter, and that the process could take a couple of months to finalize. However, he went on to say he would reinstate Donald Trump’s account.

“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, he is now going to be on Truth Social, as will a large part of the, sort of the right in the United States. And so I think this could end up being, frankly, worse than having a single forum where everyone can debate.”

Elon Musk

This was after Musk explained that the concept of permabans is not something he or former Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey think is a good idea. Musk said that permabans should be rare and reserved for bots or spam accounts that have no legitimacy. 

“If they say something that is illegal or otherwise just destructive to the world, then there should perhaps be a time-out, a temporary suspension, or that particular tweet should be made invisible or have very limited traction. But I think permabans just fundamentally undermine trust in Twitter as a town square where everyone can voice their opinion.”

Elon Musk

Trump was permanently banned from Twitter after crowds of people breached Capitol Hill on Jan. 6, 2021. The interviewer continued to question Musk in regards to this, asking if he still believes that it was a mistake to remove Trump from Twitter after his tweets that allegedly egged on the crowd. 

“The point I am trying to make which perhaps is not getting across is that banning Trump from Twitter didn’t end Trump’s voice, it will amplify it among the right [ political spectrum] this is why it is morally wrong and flat out stupid.” 

Elon Musk

On Apr 24, 2022 Twitter’s board accepted the $44 billion dollar buyout Musk offered but the regulatory approval is still pending. 

There have been different feelings,and ideas around Musk buying Twitter, making it a private company. Some people think this is a great move for freedom of speech and a win in the information war. Others believe that Musk is only driven by self interest and this could be worse than before.  Either way changes are happening in the social media world that will impact how information is shared. The question is, who gets to decide? Should anybody have that right?

To explore this topic more check out an article called, Elon Musk Buys Twitter: A Positive Change? by Joe Martino.

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