'Morally wrong': Musk says Twitter banning Trump to prevent him from inciting more violence was 'stupid'
Billionaire Elon Musk says banning then-President Donald Trump from Twitter over his actions surrounding the January 6, 2021 insurrection was a “mistake,” “flat-out stupid,” and “morally wrong.” He says he would reverse the permanent suspension if his attempt to close the massive $44 billion deal to buy the social media giant and take it private is successful.
Claiming it was “not correct to ban Donald Trump,” Musk on Tuesday said: “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,” The New York Times reports.
“Mr. Musk called the decision to ban Mr. Trump ‘morally wrong and flat-out stupid.’ He said individual posts to Twitter could be hidden, and that individuals could still be temporarily suspended ‘if they say something that is illegal or otherwise just, you know, destructive to the world.’ But he said that ‘permanent bans just fundamentally undermine trust in Twitter.'”
Musk, who has no formal public policy education or training, no experience running a social media platform, and a history of controversial remarks himself on Twitter, made his remarks at a Financial Times conference Tuesday.
Musk’s remarks appear to show his focus would be on protecting Twitter’s reputation on the right, more than concerning himself with regulating how the platform, which has tremendous impact on public opinion and policy, will be used.
“Banning Trump was in no way a ‘moral’ decision,” says WUSA9’s Jordan Fischer. “It was driven purely by Twitter’s legal exposure in allowing anyone, president or otherwise, to continue using their platform to incite violence. Legal exposure that would then fall on Musk if he were to take the company private.”
Ethics experts are also concerned.
“Giving someone who tried to overturn an election and helped incite an insurrection a major forum to continue undermining democracy is dangerous,” says Noah Bookbinder, President of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). “Neither Elon Musk nor anyone else should reverse Donald Trump’s Twitter ban.”
Of course Elon Musk would allow Donald Trump back on Twitter despite Trump using Twitter to plot his Jan 6 terrorist attack. Musk does not care about the USA. He is South African. He then moved to Canada. The US is just a place for him to use to make $ until he returns home.— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@(((DeanObeidallah)))) 1652206264
.@elonmusk will reverse Trump's Twitter ban, here are some of his "greatest hits"pic.twitter.com/JZRLkpsTX9— Fifty Shades of Whey (@Fifty Shades of Whey) 1652206304
Elon Musk says Trump's ban from Twitter actually "amplified" him. Based on - what, exactly?\n\nOnline discussion about Trump plunged after the ban to a five-year low: https://wapo.st/3fDHni5\u00a0.\n\nHis follow-up blog was so unpopular he dropped it within a month: https://wapo.st/3yYq0RV\u00a0https://twitter.com/DaveLeeFT/status/1524079638024056832\u00a0\u2026— Drew Harwell (@Drew Harwell) 1652204275
Elon Musk\u2019s plan to reinstate Trump on Twitter would just reignite a race to the bottom. More from @GoAngelo:pic.twitter.com/IPcuhpjb6e— Media Matters (@Media Matters) 1652208356
As Elon Musk announced he'd end Trump ban, he also said tweets "destructive to the world" would be made "invisible or have very limited traction."\n\nWhat could go wrong w/ massive union-buster who exploited his way to the top determining what content is "destructive to the world"— Jordan (@Jordan) 1652208477
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