BREAKING: New owner Of Twitter, Elon Musk, Says He Will Remove Permanent Ban On Former U.S. President Donald Trump, Says It Was One Of Twitters Worst Mistakes

Photo Source: AP

According to the Associated Press, Elon Musk stated that if his purchase of Twitter goes through, Twitter will lift its ban on former President Donald Trump, showing how open the network may become to free expression under his management.

The Tesla CEO claimed Tuesday, speaking remotely at an auto conference, that Twitter’s suspension of Trump following the January 6, 2021 insurgency at the US Capitol was a “morally bad decision” and “foolish in the extreme.”

“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 added, preferring interim bans and other punishments for content that is unlawful or otherwise “destructive to the world.”

In a Tuesday post, Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey expressed his agreement, saying, “usually permanent bans are a failing of ours and don’t work.” Twitter’s stock fell 1.5 percent to $47.24 per share on Tuesday. This is a 13% drop from Musk’s April 14 offer of $54.20 per share, or $44 billion, reflecting Wall Street’s worries that the deal may still fall through.

It’s “definitely not a done deal,” Musk said on Tuesday. Musk has slammed Twitter’s content moderation choices, including banning Trump for “inciting violence,” but has mostly been silent on what he plans to do about Trump’s account.

“If Musk is concerned that many people were outraged because Trump was banned, he should consider how many more people would be upset if Trump were not prohibited,” said Kirsten Martin, a University of Notre Dame professor of technology ethics.

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“Musk appears to be concerned mainly with the views of a tiny minority of people who instigate violence or spread hate speech.” Trump previously claimed that even if his account was reactivated, he would not return to Twitter, telling Fox News last month that he would instead focus on his own platform, Truth Social, which has been plagued by troubles since its inception earlier this year.

Musk seems to believe such accusations, claiming on Tuesday that Trump will attend Truth Social with a “big section” of the American political right, resulting in a situation that is “frankly worse than having a single venue where everyone can discuss.” In reaction to Musk’s statements, a Trump representative did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Trump’s Twitter character was a combination of policy pronouncements, frequently out of the blue; media complaints; disparagement of women, minorities, and his perceived opponents; and appreciation for his followers, replete with exclamation points, all-caps, and one-word assertions like “Sad!”

On Twitter, he dismissed a number of authorities, and his messages, like his rallies, were full of falsehoods. When reading Trump’s comments in the context of the Capitol incident and plans emerging online for future armed protests around President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, Twitter believed they amounted to a celebration of violence. Musk’s comments on Tuesday raised the possibility that others banned in addition to Trump may return.

QAnon supporters, COVID doubters, neo-Nazis, and former reality star Tila Tequila, who was suspended for hate speech, are among those who have been banned from Twitter.

Michael Flynn and Sidney Powell, Lin Wood, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who was permanently banned from Twitter in January for frequently promoting falsehoods regarding COVID-19 and vaccination safety, are among Trump’s friends who have been removed. Far-right trolls like Baked Alaska, who pushed anti-Semitic stereotypes and faces charges related to his role in the Jan. 6 attack, have been banned, as have white supremacist David Duke and the frequently violent Proud Boys organization.

In 2018, Infowars creator Alex Jones was permanently banned for aggressive behavior. Jones lost a defamation suit brought by the parents of children slain in the 2012 Newtown, Connecticut, school massacre last year because of Jones’ repeated statements that the tragedy was staged.

According to Musk, Twitter now has a significant left-wing tilt, owing to its location in San Francisco. “It’s way too random, and I think Twitter has to be much more equally handed,” he said, adding that the apparent prejudice stops it from developing confidence in the rest of the US and the globe. Musk’s comments were met with silence on Twitter. After meeting with the EU’s single market leader on Tuesday, Musk said he backed a new European Union rule aimed at safeguarding social media users from bad information.

Thierry Breton, the EU’s internal market commissioner, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he explained to Musk how the bloc’s internet legislation aims to protect free expression while also ensuring that anything criminal “would be disallowed in the digital arena,” something Musk “completely agreed with.” Musk said the two had a “wonderful chat” in a video Breton posted late Monday, and that he agreed with the Digital Services Act, which is anticipated to get final approval later this year.

It will force giant digital firms like Twitter, Google, and Facebook parent Meta to more severely regulate their platforms for unlawful or damaging content like hate speech and misinformation or face billion-dollar fines.

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