The rules of social media are changing at light speed.
Elon Musk has declared he would "reverse the permanent ban" on former U.S. President Donald Trump, when the Twitter deal closes — in a major reversal of the controversial move by the social media firm, after he tweeted about the January 6, 2021 incident on Capitol Hill, according to a Tuesday conference with the Financial Times.
This could change everything. Again.
Elon Musk thinks Twitter's ban of Donald Trump was 'flat-out stupid'
"I do think it was not correct to ban Donald Trump, 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," said Musk during the Financial Times (FT) conference.
Twitter, Facebook, and other major social media platforms banned former President Trump from posting after the January 6 incident on Capitol Hill. When it happened, in 2021, Twitter had said Trump was in violation of crucial policies, and "incited violence" among his supporters in the capital city of the United States.
But to Musk, and many others of different political and personal modes of thought, this was misguided.
Musk said Trump's ban was "morally wrong and flat-out stupid," according to the FT event. The billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla — who will also temporarily hold the same title in Twitter — said other steps could have been taken, in the wake of the Capitol Hill incident. For example, if someone says "something that is illegal of otherwise just, you know, destructive to the world," specific tweets could be hidden, or that person could be temporarily suspended.
Either option would have been better than the one that was taken, he said. To Musk, "permanent bans just fundamentally undermine trust in Twitter."
And to many, he's not wrong.
Donald Trump has said he would not return to Twitter
But the possibility of bringing Trump back to Twitter is contingent on two things: First, Musk needs to complete his $44 billion purchase of Twitter, which agreed to sell itself to him in April. And that could take three to six months. Second, and probably the more crucial step: Trump has to want to return. And the former President has stated repeatedly that he has no intention of returning to Twitter.
Even if Musk said it was okay to come back. "I am not going on Twitter, I am going to stay on TRUTH," said Trump in an interview with Fox News on the notion of a return to Twitter, with reference and preference for his own social media app, Truth Social.
Whether Trump returns to Twitter or not, this move appears to align with Musk's stated goal of making the social media platform into a free speech platform (again) — which would, at least as things stand to Musk, make it less aligned to the policies of the Democratic Party (DNC).
This raises countless questions on how the nature of "misinformation" could change in the coming months and years, to align with the now-spoken norms of the most politically active social media website, Twitter. But it also signals a time of radical change in the way we express ideas, whether or not they qualify as immoral and unethical, and whether abstract proximity to a politically charged and controversial debate automatically endangers one's position in the grand scheme of modern society.
This was breaking news about Musk's openness to bringing Trump back to Twitter once the deal to buy out the social media firm closes and was regularly updated as new information became available.