Prospect of Musk Lifting Trump's Twitter Ban Sends Ripples Online
© AP Photo / Joe MaioranaFormer President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at the Delaware County Fairgrounds, Saturday, April 23, 2022, in Delaware, Ohio, to endorse Republican candidates ahead of the Ohio primary on May 3.
© AP Photo / Joe Maiorana
This week, Elon Musk reportedly argued that former US President Donald Trump’s ban on Twitter had essentially “alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice".
News about former US President Donald Trump possibly being allowed to tweet again, if Elon Musk becomes the new owner of the social media platform, elicited a rather nervous reaction on the said social media network from a number of prominent "leftists", as Fox News calls them.
During an interview with the Financial Times earlier this week, Musk criticised the decision to ban Trump on Twitter, saying that he thinks that "permanent bans should be extremely rare and really reserved for accounts that are bots, or scam, spam accounts".
"I would reverse the permanent ban. 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?" the tech mogul remarked.
He also observed that banning Trump on Twitter had essentially "alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice".
Musk’s speculation, however, did not sit well with journalist and MSNBC contributor Dean Obeidallah who insisted on Twitter that Musk "does not care about the USA", and accused Trump of "using Twitter to plot his Jan 6 terrorist attack" – an apparent reference to last year’s riots at the US Capitol.
"Once Elon Musk lifts ban on Trump from Twitter that means Trump will have suffered no real punishment for waging a failed coup and then inciting the Jan 6 terrorist attack intended to overturn our elections", Obeidallah wrote in another tweet. "But then again white, wealthy GOP men are NEVER held accountable".
“Occupy Democrats”, which styles itself as a “grassroots political organization & news website supporing [sic] progressive Democrats”, also equated Musk’s intent to reverse Trump’s ban on Twitter to “paving the way for Trump to use the platform for another deadly insurrection”.
Meanwhile, Rolling Stone magazine tweeted a link to their article titled "Elon Musk Says He Would Allow Trump Back on Twitter", with the following caption: "This hellsite could become even worse".
10 May 2022, 19:03 GMT
Last month, SpaceX and Tesla founder and billionaire Elon Musk reached an agreement with Twitter on the purchase of the social media network for a lump sum of about $44 billion, with Musk promising to enable greater freedom of speech on the platform.
Donald Trump, a prolific Twitter user during his presidency, was permanently suspended on Twitter following the riot at the US Capitol on 6 January, after allegedly violating the social media network’s policies regarding the incitement of violence. He was also banned on Facebook*, Instagram*, and Snapchat.
This development prompted criticism from Trump’s supporters, who regarded the move as an act of censorship and voiced their concerns about social media giants’ impact on free speech online.
Meanwhile, Trump said last month that he has no intention to return to Twitter, even if his account there is reinstated, and is going to stay on his own app called Truth Social.
*Facebook and Instagram are banned in Russia over extremist activities.