Banning former US president Donald Trump from Twitter was a “mistake”, according to future Twitter (TWTR) owner Elon Musk, who added he would reverse the ban.
The decision to ban Trump from the social media platform was "morally wrong and flat-out stupid," Tesla (TSLA) boss Musk said at the Financial Times Future of the Car conference.
“It was not correct to ban Donald Trump. I think that was a mistake,” he said, while arguing that the permanent ban “alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice.”
Trump was permanently suspended from Twitter shortly after the 6 January riot on the US Capitol.
“I would reverse the permanent ban,” Musk said. “I don’t own Twitter yet. So this is not like a thing that will definitely happen, because what if I don’t own Twitter?”
Musk said he had spoken to Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, who agreed that permanents bans are not the solution.
“Permanent bans should be extremely rare and really reserved for accounts that are bots, or scam, spam accounts…” he said.
Trump has publicly said he would not return to the social media platform and will instead use his own platform, Truth Social.
The Tesla boss said tweets that are wrong or bad “should be deleted and a temporary suspension is appropriate, but not a permanent ban”.
He also highlighted some of the changes he would make, if he is successful in buying the company for $44bn (£35.7bn).
Musk said he would like to put the algorithm on GitHub and allow anyone to make suggestions and for human interventions to be highlighted, stating that “you really want transparency to build trust.”
He also said he wants to reduce the left-leaning bias of the San Francisco-based company.
“They’re just coming at it from an environment that is very far left. But it fails to build trust in the rest of the United States and perhaps other parts of the world.”
Musk said his purchase of Twitter will take another two to three months.