Elon Musk said he would lift the permanent suspension on former President Donald Trump if he is successful in his attempt to buy Twitter.
Musk, chief executive of Tesla and SpaceX, made the revelation during a virtual appearance at FT Live’s Future of the Car conference on May 10.
“I would reverse the permanent [Trump Twitter] ban,” Musk said during his virtual appearance at the conference. “I don’t own Twitter yet. So this is not like a thing that will definitely happen because what if I don’t own Twitter?”
Musk argued that permanent bans should be rare and reserved only for those accounts that are spam, bots, and scam accounts. Elon Musk added that the decision to ban Trump was incorrect in his opinion.
“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 added.
Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter, agreed with Musk in a series of tweets and mentioned he did not “celebrate or feel pride in having to ban” Trump.
“Yes, we all need to look critically at inconsistencies of our policy and enforcement. Yes, we need to look at how our service might incentivize distraction and harm. Yes, we need more transparency in our moderation operations. All this can’t erode a free and open global internet,” tweeted Dorsey. “I feel a ban is a failure of ours ultimately to promote healthy conversation.”
Dorsey mentioned Twitter was his “sole issue” and his “biggest regret.” He said getting Twitter off the ad model is a significant first step and that he trusts Musk’s vision and leadership.
Trump, who was banned from Twitter after the social media giants claimed his tweets fueled the January 6 protests at the U.S. Capitol, has said he does not plan to return to the social network.
“No, I won’t be going back on Twitter,” Trump told CNBC’s Joe Kernen in an April interview.
Trump said he would instead be on Truth Social, which he launched after his Twitter ban.
“I was disappointed by the way I was treated by Twitter,” Trump added. “I won’t be going back on Twitter.”
According to CNBC News, Trump had about 88.7 million followers on his Twitter account before he was permanently suspended.
Musk and Trump have a history that began during the former president’s administration.
Elon Musk sat on two of the Trump administration’s advisory councils before stepping down when the United States pulled out of the Paris climate agreement.