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Elon Musk has said he would reverse the ban imposed by Twitter on former US president Donald Trump’s account if he completes his planned takeover of the platform.
Mr Musk said tweets which are illegal or “destructive” should be deleted or hidden, but permanent account suspensions should be a “rare thing”.
Mr Trump was permanently banned from Twitter in January 2021 after the social media platform said the then-president had violated its glorification of violence policy after he repeatedly tweeted his support for the rioters who stormed the US Capitol building on January 6 in protest at Mr Trump’s election defeat to Joe Biden.
His account had already been temporarily suspended earlier that week for breaching the same rules in relation to more tweets praising those who stormed the Capitol and came after large numbers of his posts were hidden behind warning labels for breaching Twitter rules around misinformation relating to the US election.
After he returned, Mr Trump tweeted twice more, saying that he would not be attending the inauguration of Mr Biden as president and referred to his supporters as “American Patriots”, saying they will have “a giant voice long into the future”.
Twitter said the refusal to attend the inauguration was being received by Mr Trump’s supporters as “further confirmation that the election was not legitimate” and him disavowing his previous claim there would be an “orderly transition”.
It said the tweet referencing the inauguration may also “serve as encouragement to those potentially considering violent acts that the inauguration would be a ‘safe’ target, as he will not be attending”.
As a result and after reviewing those tweets, the platform said it was permanently banning Mr Trump “due to the risk of further incitement of violence”.
The permanent ban quickly extended to other platforms, including Facebook.
Mr Trump has since launched his own social media platform, Truth Social, in an attempt to reclaim the online megaphone once given to him by Twitter, but with limited success.
In the wake of the confirmation of Mr Musk’s takeover deal and suggestions his ban could be revoked, Mr Trump was asked if he would return to Twitter but he said he would be sticking with his Truth Social platform.