Elon Musk says he would reverse Trump’s Twitter ban

Elon Musk says he would reverse Trump’s Twitter ban

Elon Musk says he would reverse Trump's Twitter ban

Musk’s remarks at the Financial Times’ Future of the Car conference mark his first public acknowledgment of what was widely expected since the billionaire announced plans to buy the social media giant for $44 billion.

Musk has previously said he thinks Twitter should be more “reluctant to take things down” and “very careful with permanent bans.” On Tuesday, he called Twitter’s decision to ban Trump in January 2021 a “mistake.”

“I think it was wrong to ban Donald Trump, I think it was wrong,” Musk said. “I would overturn the permanent ban. … But my opinion, and Jack Dorsey, I want to be clear, shares that opinion, is that we shouldn’t have permanent bans.”

Dorsey, co-founder and former CEO of Twitter, tweeted On Tuesday after Musk’s remarks that he “agrees”, there should be no permanent banning of Twitter users. “There are exceptions… but generally permanent bans are a failure on our part and don’t work,” he said.

Twitter declined to comment on Musk’s remarks.

Elon Musk raises another $7 billion in funding for Twitter deal
Trump was permanently suspended from Twitter following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot for violating the platform’s rules against inciting violence, a move the company said was led by Dorsey. Other social platforms followed by banning or suspending Trump’s account.
Trump, for his part, said he would not return to Twitter even if his account was restored, instead promoting his own social media company, Truth Social, which has so far appeared to be struggling to take off. .

“Banning Trump from Twitter hasn’t ended Trump’s voice, it will amplify it among the right and that’s why it’s morally wrong and downright stupid,” Musk said at the event on Tuesday.

The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX acknowledged that his acquisition of Twitter and the return of Trump were not yet complete. “I will say that I don’t own Twitter yet, so it’s not something that will definitely happen, because what if I don’t own Twitter?” he said.

There remain questions as to whether Musk will actually close the deal, or if the drop in You’re here (TSLA) actions over the past month could have a negative impact on its ability to fund the deal. Twitter (TWTR) The stock was trading around $47.70 on Tuesday afternoon, well below Musk’s offer price of $54.20 per share, suggesting some skepticism among investors about the likelihood of the deal going through. .
That hasn’t stopped Musk from continuing to lay out his plans for the platform in recent weeks. Musk said his goal was to strengthen free speech on the platform and make it clearer to users when the platform takes actions that impact what people see on Twitter.

On Tuesday, he reiterated his desire to rid Twitter of bots promoting spam or scams, and his plan to make Twitter’s algorithm publicly available for everyone to see and comment.

“I would literally put Twitter’s algorithm on GitHub and say, ‘Hey, anyone want to suggest changes to this? Please go ahead,'” Musk said, adding that he sees such a move as a way to “build transparency and trust.”

He also criticized what he sees as Twitter’s political bias, echoing claims by some right-wing figures.

“I think Twitter needs to be a lot more even-handed. It has a strong left-wing bias right now because it’s based in San Francisco,” he said. “I don’t think the people there necessarily intend, or at least some of them don’t intend, to have a left bias. They just, from their perspective view, that seems moderate, but they come right after that from an environment that is very left-wing.”

(Twitter has previously said its algorithms and employees do not discriminate against any particular political viewpoint.)

In addition to rescinding Trump’s ban, Musk said he would make permanent bans “extremely rare,” reserving them for “bots or spam, fraudulent accounts where there is simply no legitimacy to the account.”

Musk also expanded on his take on Twitter content moderation. Previously, Musk has said he intends for Twitter to limit moderation of its content to what governments have deemed explicitly illegal — and not go much further.

But on Tuesday, Musk admitted that there could be a wide range of objectionable content that he would like Twitter to take action against. In addition to illegal content, Musk identified two other categories of content that could be subject to sanctions: “world destructive” and “wrong and wrong” speech.

“If they’re saying something that’s illegal or just destructive to the world, then maybe there should be a timeout, a temporary suspension, or that particular tweet should be made invisible or have very limited traction” , Musk said. He added, “I think if there are tweets that are fake and bad, those should either be deleted or made invisible, and a suspension, a temporary suspension is appropriate but not a permanent ban.”

Musk did not specify what metrics Twitter might use to determine whether a tweet might be “wrong and wrong” or “destructive to the world,” and when it might opt ​​for one type of punishment over another.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the date of Trump’s Twitter ban. It was in January 2021.

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