Elon Musk said on Tuesday that he would reverse Twitter’s ban on former President Donald Trump, confirming what many had expected.
Musk said at the Financial Times’ Future of the Car conference that permanent bans lessen users’ trust in Twitter, and banning Trump was a “morally bad decision,” the Wall Street Journal reported. Musk said that in the case of a person posting inappropriate tweets, a “temporary suspension” is acceptable, but not a full ban.
“I do think that it was not correct to ban Donald Trump,” Musk 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.”
Musk has agreed to purchase Twitter for roughly $44 billion, and has said he wants to promote free speech on the platform.
Although he has been quite vocal about what he plans to change about the platform, Musk doesn’t own Twitter quite yet. In addition to focusing more on “free speech,” Musk has suggested a plan to charge governments and organizations to use the platform.
Musk has heavily criticized Twitter, calling a “de facto public town square” whose content policy “fundamentally undermines democracy.” He aims to strip down its content moderation in favor of a laissez-faire policy toward what can and can’t be posted, and reversing Trump’s ban is apparently the first step in doing so.
Twitter banned Trump last January for “the risk of further incitement of violence” as the Jan. 6 insurrection unfolded. Even if the ban was lifted, however, Trump said he wouldn’t go back to Twitter, opting instead for his own platform, Truth Social.