Elon Musk on Tuesday said he would reverse Twitter’s permanent ban of former President Donald Trump if he were to assume control of the social media company.
During an interview at Financial Times’ Future of the Car conference, Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, said it was a “morally bad decision” and “foolish in the extreme” for Twitter to ban Trump amid the Jan. 6, 2021, riots at the U.S. Capitol in what the company said was meant to prevent the “risk of further incitement of violence.”
“I do think it was not correct to ban Donald Trump. I think that was a mistake,” said Musk, who offered to purchase Twitter for $44 billion last month. “It alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice.”
Musk, who has more than 90 million Twitter followers and has broadly criticized the social network’s moderation decisions, added that former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was in agreement that Twitter “should not have perma-bans.”
Dorsey confirmed that he did agree with Musk, citing exceptions such as illegal behavior or network manipulation.
“Generally, permanent bans are a failure of ours and don’t work,” Dorsey wrote on Twitter.
Trump, who launched his own Twitter competitor, Truth Social, has no plans to return to Twitter and has not talked to Musk but does agree with the billionaire’s assessment of his ban, a Trump adviser told The Washington Post.
Musk, however, went on to say he believes Twitter exhibits a political bias that harms those on the right.
“I think Twitter needs to be more evenhanded. It currently has a strong left bias because it’s based in San Francisco,” he said. “I don’ think the people there necessarily intend, or at least some of them don’t intend, to have a left bias. They just, from their perspective, it seems moderate, but they’re just coming after it from an environment that is very far left.”
He added that he would turn Twitter’s algorithm over to the public to “build transparency and trust” and allow the site to make permanent bans “extremely rare” and reserve them for “bots or spam, scam accounts where there’s just no legitimacy to the account at all.”
“I would literally put the Twitter algorithm on GitHub and say like, ‘Hey, anyone want to suggest changes to this? Please go ahead,’” Musk said.
He acknowledged, however, that while the company’s board had accepted his deal to purchase Twitter, it was not finalized.
“I will say that I don’t own Twitter yet, so this is not a thing that will definitely happen, because what if I don’t own Twitter,” he said.