Elon Musk plans to end lifetime bans on Twitter as he steps into the role of CEO at his newly acquired company.
Musk, who closed his $44 billion deal with Twitter on Thursday, does not believe in lifelong prohibitions from social media sites, an anonymous source told Bloomberg.
Musk’s stance means that users who previously received lifetime bans from the platform — including former President Trump — may be allowed to return to Twitter at some point in the future.
Trump was banned from Twitter for posts that the company’s leadership said incited the violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Critics of Musk have speculated that his takeover of Twitter might result in Trump’s return to the social media platform due to the Tesla CEO’s emphasis on the importance of free speech.
His First Day:
- His handling of account suspensions is the most anticipated.
- Musk has said he intends to limit permanent bans and believes in making Twitter a free-speech haven, raising concerns over increased hate speech and divisiveness.
- Musk also announced today that Twitter will form a content moderation council and that “no major content decisions or account reinstatements” will happen before it convenes, before also tweeting, “Anyone suspended for minor & dubious reasons will be freed from Twitter jail.”
Reality check: Advertising makes up nearly all of Twitter’s revenue,and advertisers are watching closely for Musk’s next moves.
- General Motors on Friday told CNBC it’s temporarily suspending paid ads on Twitter while it gets a feel for “the direction of the platform under their new ownership.”
- Musk has been conscious of this kind of risk, and wrote to advertisers on Thursday that “Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape.”
What to watch: Musk is essentially fulfilling the role of a private equity company, Bloomberg corporate credit reporter Paula Seligson noted this morning during a Twitter Spaces conversation.
- If he acts like one, he’ll have to significantly cut costs and grow revenue, she noted.
- Twitter’s debt load has grown from about $2 billion to more than $13 billion, with an annual interest expense of $1.2 billion going forward, more than 12x what it is now, according to Seligson.