Musk, whose $44 billion offer to buy Twitter was accepted by the company last month, recently said he would reverse the “morally wrong” permanent ban placed upon the former U.S. president.
The multi-billionaire said in a Financial Times conference on Tuesday: “Banning Trump from Twitter didn’t end Trump’s voice. It will amplify it among the right and this is why it is morally wrong and flat out stupid.”
Musk said that if he becomes the owner of Twitter then permanent bans will be reserved only for bot and spam accounts and that temporary bans or tweet deletions could be the course of action for people who break the rules with illegal or harmful tweets.
However, he expressed doubt that Trump would return to Twitter even if the former president’s ban was reversed, stating: “He has publicly stated that he will not be coming back to Twitter and that he will only be on Truth Social.”
Truth Social is Trump’s own social media platform, which was created after Trump’s Twitter ban in January 2021 as a result of what Twitter called “risk of further incitement of violence” following comments he made regarding the Capitol riots which were carried out by his supporters.
Musk commented further on Trump’s hypothetical return to Twitter on Tuesday night in a tweet thread with Billy Markus, a software engineer known as one of the creators of the Dogecoin cryptocurrency token.
Markus tweeted: “If Donald Trump gets back on Twitter this is all that will happen. One, he won’t use it, or two, he will make a single tweet that is like “this site is bad come to truth social” or whatever it’s called. It doesn’t matter, adults don’t need to have yet another meltdown, ffs.”
Musk replied: “Exactly.”
In another Twitter exchange, Markus said: “Hello i am media here to promote propaganda and try to control people via giving them meltdowns and rage,” to which Musk responded: “Haha” with the hundred points emoji, indicating Markus was entirely correct.
Trump’s Twitter return?
Yet Trump’s presence on Twitter might be difficult to ignore. The former president was incredibly popular on the site amongst both his supporters and his critics, regularly posting controversial tweets that would gain significant attention. He had around 67 million followers.
It’s also not clear whether Trump really would stay away from Twitter if allowed back, perhaps due to the exposure it would grant him and possibly due to Truth Social’s troubled start and lackluster growth.
In any case, Musk’s comments on allowing Trump back to the platform sparked criticismfrom some Twitter users who have used the trending term ‘Dear Elon Musk’ to express their concerns. Self-proclaimed Gen Z activist Jack Cocchiarella, whose tweet gained over 100,000 likes, wrote: “Dear Elon Musk, please keep Trump off of Twitter. Sincerely, All Americans.”
A supporter, right-wing commentator Stacy Washington, wrote: “Dear Elon Musk—please continue to drive these left wingers batty.”