Billionaire Elon Musk’s pending acquisition of Twitter has left everyone wondering what changes he will bring to the platform.
One confirmed change he has indicated he will make is to reverse Donald Trump’s lifetime ban on Twitter. But should he recover the former US president’s account?
Why Musk wants to welcome Trump back to Twitter
When Twitter banned former US president Donald Trump’s account on January 8, 2021, it was meant to be permanent. However, that could change.
In an interview during the Financial Times’ Future of the Car event, Musk answered a question about Trump’s ban. He said permanent bans should be “extremely rare” and should only be reserved for accounts that are bots or spam/scam accounts.
During the virtual Q&A stream, Musk said:
“I think it’s not right to ban Donald Trump. I think it’s a mistake, because it alienated a large part of the country and ultimately didn’t result in Donald Trump being voiceless. Now he’s going to continue. Social Truth is like a big part of the rights in the United States, and so I think this is probably going to be worse than frankly having a single forum where people can debate.
He then gave a definitive answer on his preferred course of action for Trump’s account if the Twitter deal passes:
I guess the answer is I would reverse the word fixed. Obviously I don’t own Twitter yet so this is not a sure thing, because what if I don’t own Twitter? But my opinion — and [former Twitter CEO] Jack Dorsey, I want to be clear, shares this opinion – that we shouldn’t have fixed people.
In other words, Musk said he believes permanently banning people on Twitter will do more harm than good.
According to Musk, the best way to keep society united is to allow people to freely express themselves under one roof.
He also said that the platform’s policies are good if it offends the most extreme people on both the left and the right.
Should Musk reverse Trump’s Twitter ban?
Musk wants Twitter to exercise his stance on free speech, calling himself a libertarian. But a tyrannical view of rights that are not absolute (as some forms of free speech are limited under US law), can have consequences.
But if reinstating Trump somehow stops the increase in online polarization and forces people to talk to each other, that’s a good thing.
A complete and permanent ban on anyone, including Trump, seems extreme. And Musk has a point; The essence of democracy is not to silence others but to give everyone a chance to be heard.
A reasonable compromise would be for Trump to come back and let him have his say, and surgically remove any posts that violate Twitter’s policies or spread misinformation, instead of banning him. me forever.
However, this will prove difficult. A New York Times analysis of 11,390 Trump tweets sent during the first two years of his presidency found that more than half were rhetorical attacks aimed at other people or countries.
This has damaged the goals of his attacks and destabilized international and domestic relations. With this in mind, it would be better for Trump’s ban to be upheld.
Trump is not interested in coming back
Trump has stated that he is happy with his Truth Social app and has no interest in returning to Twitter.
So Musk will likely be a dollar short and a day late if he is concerned about Trump’s desire to reverse the Twitter ban.
Of course, with Trump, nothing is off the table; If he makes another run for the White House in 2024, he may decide he wants his Twitter account back.
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