To tweet or not to tweet, that is the question. It’s the question people have been asking about billionaire Elon Musk as he prepares to take over the social media platform Twitter. Specifically, people want to know if Musk is going to allow former President Donald Trump to begin tweeting again on the very platform that banned him from using it.
Elon Musk describes himself as a “free speech absolutist,” but people are concerned about how far he would go. Up until just recently, he has been quiet about the former president. On Tuesday, Musk finally admitted that he would reverse Twitter’s ban on Trump.
Elon Musk is the world’s richest person and is the CEO of Tesla, the electric vehicle producer. He is most likely going to be the temporary CEO of Twitter when the deal for purchasing the company is finally done, according to a person who is familiar with the plans.
People have seen how he will deal with Trump as a test of how far Musk will go in making changes to the present platform guidelines. When Trump has been asked if he would return, he has said that he would not.
The present guidelines are that those who write misinformation or those who glorify violence will be banned from the social media platform. But Musk has agreed with the co-founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, and said that permanent bans should be “extremely rare.” Musk thinks that these bans should only be for accounts that use bots or spam.
The billionaire said that tweets that are simply wrong or have bad intentions could just be deleted and made invisible. An account that posts these kinds of tweets could be suspended temporarily. But Musk said, “I think permabans just fundamentally undermine trust in Twitter as a town square where everyone can voice their opinion.” He also said that the decision to ban the former president actually “amplified” the views of his supporters on the right. Musk said the decision to permanently ban Trump was “morally wrong and flat-out stupid.”
Former President Trump had over 88 million followers at the height of his time with Twitter. It was his primary way of communicating with his constituency at the end of his four years in the White House. This powerful platform because the subject of intense debate regrind the impact of social media on politics and the role they have in moderating the kind of information going to the general public.
Trump’s Twitter account was permanently suspended right after the January 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol. The rationale from Twitter stated “the risk of further incitement of violence” in rendering its decision.
Elon Musk has said that there should be some limits; in fact, he told a European Union official this week that the EU policy on this issue was “exactly aligned” with his own viewpoint on moderating content.
Many on the right would love to see Trump back at it on Twitter. GOP Senator Rick Scott told the press that the former president should be everywhere he can be. “We shouldn’t have social media companies that are restricting people’s ability to get their message out,” Scott said.
Some Democrats, on the other hand, are declaring that Trump’s return to Twitter would be a threat to democracy. While others on the left believe that if Trump returned it would rally the troops on the left to an even greater turnout in the November elections.
Right now, Trump is focused on his own social media platform, Truth Social, and he told Fox News that he would not come back to Twitter. But he only has 2.7 million followers compared to the 88 million that once followed his every keystroke.