When Mr. Musk started buying up shares of Twitter this year, he started expressing more of his thoughts about the service and free speech, including in conversations with Mr. Dorsey. In MarchMr. Musk asked his followers if Twitter was not adhering to the principles of free speech.
How Elon Musk’s Twitter Deal Unfolded
A blockbuster deal. Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, put an end to what seemed an unlikely attempt by the famed mercurial billionaire to Buy Twitter for about $44 billion† Here’s how the deal unfolded:
“Freedom of speech is essential for a functioning democracy. Do you believe that Twitter strictly adheres to this principle?” he asked.
At another time, Mr. Musk wondered, “Is a new platform needed?”
After Mr. Musk signed the deal to buy Twitter last month, he reiterated his stance on free speech and said he would take the company private to improve its service. He added that he hoped to build trust by making Twitter’s technology more transparent, defeating the bots that spam people on the platform, and “authenticating all people.” He also said he hoped his worst critics would stay on Twitter because “that’s what free speech means.”
He became more specific on Tuesday. “Permanent bans should be extremely rare,” Mr. Musk said, adding that they should be reserved “for accounts that are bots or spam” and “where there is no legitimacy for the account at all.”
But he also said that “doesn’t mean someone can say what they want to say.” Mr. Musk said he was in favor of temporary account suspensions “if they say something illegal or otherwise just, you know, destructive to the world.” He also put forward the idea that a particular tweet “could be made invisible or have very limited traction”.
Aside from Mr Trump, Representatives who have been indefinitely banned from Twitter for violating his policies, Marjorie Taylor GreeneRepublican of Georgia, the far-right figure Milo Yiannopoulos, and celebrities like Tila Tequila. Twitter also labels tweets that are factually inaccurate or that may incite violence.
On Twitter, some employees on Tuesday worried that Mr. Musk’s changes would end years of work on the company’s policies and unravel millions of dollars in content moderation investments to curb abuse on the platform, said four current and former employees. Some said they hoped Mr. Musk would lose interest in the site, while others began reaching out to recruiters and friends at other tech companies for new opportunities.