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At a Financial Times conference Tuesday, Musk said Twitter’s ban of the former president was a “morally bad decision” and “foolish in the extreme.” He added that he believes the platform should not enact permanent bans, and should instead look at temporary suspensions or timeouts.
“Banning Trump from Twitter didn’t end Trump’s voice. It will amplify it among the right. And this is why it was morally wrong and flat-out stupid,” Musk said.
Musk noted that Trump has said he would not return to the platform anyway, and would instead use his own social platform, Truth Social.
Twitter banned Trump on Jan. 8, 2021, alleging that the former president incited violence with his tweets about the Capitol insurrection.
On April 15, Twitter agreed to sell itself for about $44 billion to Musk, the chief executive of Tesla and SpaceX. The deal is still pending regulatory approval from shareholders and regulatory agencies, and Musk said that the company has not yet held a shareholder vote. He expects the deal to close in two to three months.
“Objectively, it’s not a done deal,” Musk said.
Either side can still walk away from the deal by paying the other party $1 billion, according to financial filings. Musk is financing the deal through a combination of debt commitment letters, as well as an equity commitment letter.
Musk has publicly voiced criticism of Twitter’s management style in the past. During an April 14 TED conference, the billionaire said he wanted to turn Twitter into a “de facto town square,” which allowed people to “speak freely within the bounds of the law.”
“This is not a way to make money, my strong intuitive sense is that having a public platform that is maximally trusted and broadly inclusive is extremely important to the future of civilization, I don’t care about the economics at all,” he said at the time.
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