Former US president Donald Trump may soon be back on microblogging platform Twitter once the $44 billion buyout deal is closed, Tesla chief executive Elon Musk said in an interview.
Musk stated that it was not correct to ban Donald Trump as it alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice. "He is now going to be on Truth Social as will a large part of the right in the United States. I think this could end up being frankly worse than having a stable platform where everyone can debate," Musk says at the Financial Times' Future of the Car conference.
"I guess the answer is that I would reverse the permanent ban. Also, I don't own Twitter yet. This is not like a thing that will definitely happen because what if I don't own Twitter," Musk says when asked if he would reverse the ban on Donald Trump.
Musk highlighted that there is a general question of whether Twitter should have permanent bans. "I've talked to Jack Dorsey about this. He and I are of the same mind, which is that permanent bans should be extremely rare and really reserved for accounts that are bots or spam scam accounts – where there is no legitimacy to the account."
"With my opinion, and Jack Dorsey shares this opinion, we should not have permanent bans. Now that doesn't mean somebody gets to say whatever they wanted to say. If they say something that is illegal or destructive, there should be a time out or a temporary suspension or that particular tweet should be made invisible or have very limited traction," the Tesla CEO says.
Permanent bans just undermine trust in Twitter as a town square where everyone can voice their opinion, he says, adding that banning Trump was a morally bad decision and foolish in the extreme.
"If there are tweets that are wrong, those should be either deleted or made invisible. A temporary suspension is appropriate but not a permanent ban," he adds.
Trump has probably stated that he will not be coming back to Twitter and that he will only be on Truth Social, says Musk. "The point that I am trying to make which is perhaps not getting across is that banning Trump from Twitter didn't end Trump's voice, it will amplify it among the right. That is why it is morally wrong and flat out stupid."
Musk had last week tweeted that the microblogging platform may charge "a slight fee" to governments and commercial users. The Tesla CEO, however, assured that Twitter will always be free for "casual users".
Fortune India reported earlier this month that crypto exchange Binance, venture capital firm Sequoia Capital and asset managers Brookfield and Fidelity are among 18 investors, which helped Elon Musk raise $7.14 billion in equity to fund his $44 billion Twitter buyout.
Larry Ellison, the co-founder of Oracle, cut the biggest cheque worth $1 billion through his Lawrence J. Ellison Revocable Trust. Sequoia Capital provided the second-largest equity commitment of $800 million. Tech investor VyCapital chipped in with a funding commitment of $700 million while the world's largest crypto exchange Binance has offered $500 million to back Musk's acquisition bid.
With the new funding commitments, the Tesla chief executive has reduced the margin loan he has taken with a group of lenders by half to $6.25 billion and increased the equity financing to $27.25 billion.