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Billionaire Elon Musk on Tuesday said he would lift Twitter’s ban on former President Donald Trump—a move he called “flat-out stupid”.
He said this would happen if he completes a $44 billion acquisition of the social media company, a month after Trump said he would not seek to get back on the site, Forbes reports.
Speaking virtually at a Future of the Car event hosted by the Financial Times, the CEO of Tesla called the move to ban Trump a “morally bad decision” and “foolish in the extreme.”
Musk said Twitter should limit permanent bans to spam accounts and bots, though he said that doesn’t mean users should be able to “say whatever they want to say.”
Permanent bans, he said, “fundamentally undermine trust” in Twitter as a “town square where everyone can voice their opinion.”
The comments come a month after Twitter’s board agreed to be acquired by Musk, who’s currently seeking to solidify his financing.
Musk argued more appropriate actions would consist of temporary suspensions or efforts to make certain tweets invisible or have “limited traction.”
A spokesperson for Trump did not respond to a request for comment from Forbes.
“I do think that it was not correct to ban Donald Trump. 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 said.
The comments come a month after Trump told CNBC he would not return to Twitter even if Musk reversed the company’s ban. Trump said he would instead stick to posting on Truth Social, the social media site he announced he would launch last year as a rival to popular social media companies after Twitter, YouTube and Facebook froze his accounts following the January 6 insurrection.
Truth Social was supposed to be fully operational by the end of March, but its rollout has been plagued by technological glitches, a waitlist of millions of users and resignations from the company’s heads of technology and product development. Musk on Tuesday claimed banning Trump from Twitter amplified his voice “from the right” instead of silencing the former president.