Elon Musk said he would reverse Twitter Inc.’s ban on Donald Trump.
“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,” said Mr. Musk, who was speaking virtually at a Financial Times autos conference.
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Mr. Musk called the ban a “morally bad decision,” saying permanent bans undermine trust in Twitter.
“If there are tweets that are wrong and bad, those should be either deleted or made invisible, and a suspension—a temporary suspension—is appropriate, but not a permanent ban,” Mr. Musk said.
Mr. Musk agreed last month to buy Twitter in a $44 billion deal. He said Tuesday that the transaction wasn’t a done deal and that several steps, including a Twitter shareholder vote, still needed to be completed.
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He said that banning Mr. Trump eventually would amplify the former president’s voice among those with right-wing political views. Mr. Trump has said he wasn’t planning to return to Twitter and was focused on his social-media venture called Truth Social.
Leading up to the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 last year, Mr. Trump posted tweets that Twitter executives viewed as inciting violence. Twitter permanently banned Mr. Trump’s account on Jan. 8.
Representatives for Mr. Trump didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Twitter didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Mr. Musk also said that Twitter suffers from a politically left-leaning bias and that the social-media company “needs to be much more evenhanded.”
Mr. Musk said it likely would take at least another two or three months before the Twitter deal closes.
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