Musk, speaking virtually at an auto conference, said Twitter’s Trump ban was a “morally bad decision” and “foolish in the extreme.” He said bans of Twitter accounts should be rare and reserved for accounts that are scams or automated bots.
“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,” Musk said, according to the Associated Press. Musk reportedly also said his preference was to temporarily suspend accounts or perform other narrowly tailored punishments for content that is illegal or otherwise “destructive to the world.”
Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey indicated his support of the decision on lifting bans on individuals, tweeting “I do agree. There are exceptions (CSE, illegal behaviour, spam or network manipulation, etc), but generally permanent bans are a failure of ours and don’t work, which I wrote about here after the event (and called for a resilient social media protocol).”
Musk has been open about his desire to lighten restrictions on Twitter moderation, describing himself as a “free speech absolutist.”
Trump claimed on April 25 he would not return to Twitter even if his account was reinstated. He has privately launched his own social media platform, Truth Social, which mimics the look and functions of Twitter but with some slight differences such as changing the name of retweets to retruths.
Musk earlier gave his support to a new European Union law aimed at protecting social media users from harmful content after he met with the bloc’s single market chief.