Elon Musk, the soon-to-be owner of Twitter, announced that he would reverse former President Donald Trump’s ban on the platform while speaking at the Financial Times’s “Future of the Car” event on Tuesday.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) responded that they agree he should be unbanned.
“You’d be hard-pressed to find a more steadfast opponent of Trump and his policies than the ACLU, but Elon Musk’s decision to re-platform President Trump is the right call. When a handful of individuals possess so much power over the most important forums for political speech, they should exercise that power with restraint. If Trump violates the platform rules again, Twitter should first employ lesser penalties like removing the offending post — rather than banning a political figure,” Anthony D. Romero, ACLU executive director, said in a statement.
Romero added, “like it or not, President Trump is one of the most important political figures in this country, and the public has a strong interest in hearing his speech. Indeed, some of Trump’s most offensive tweets ended up being critical evidence in lawsuits filed against him and his administration. And we should know — we filed over 400 legal actions against him.”
Musk called the decision to ban Trump “a morally bad decision to be clear and foolish in the extreme” earlier in the day.
Elon Musk: “I would reverse” President Trump’s ban from Twitter
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) May 10, 2022
“I do think it was not correct to ban Donald Trump. I think that was a mistake,” Musk continued. “It alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice.”
Trump was banned from the platform two days after the protest at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The company claimed that the ban was due to “risk of further incitement of violence” from the then-president.
At the time of his ban, Trump had over 80 million followers on Twitter.
Following the news of Musk’s takeover, Trump said that he has no interest in rejoining the platform.
“No, I won’t be going back on Twitter,” Trump told CNBC’s Joe Kernen last month. “I will be on Truth Social within the week. Its on schedule. We have a lot of people signed up. I like Elon Musk. I like him a lot. He’s an excellent individual. We did a lot for Twitter when I was in the White House. I was disappointed by the way I was treated by Twitter. I won’t be going back on Twitter.”