Musk, who has struck a deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion, said this week that he will lift its permanent suspension of the former president — part of a pledge to restore “free speech” to the social media platform. But Musk also held out the possibility of temporarily suspending people who post content that’s illegal, directly incites violence or is otherwise “destructive to the world.”
Trump’s critics say his past tweets crossed that line repeatedly — and if Twitter lets him return, his flagrant disregard of the social network’s rules will become Musk’s headache.
“Musk is discovering all the questions that thousands of people at lots of different platforms have been wrestling with for decades,” said Joshua Tucker, a co-director of the NYU Center for Social Media and Politics. “You can already see Musk in his own statements waffling around. First — ‘It’s gonna be a free speech platform,’ to ‘Maybe tweets could be made invisible,’ to ‘Maybe they could be removed,’ to ‘Maybe people could be temporarily suspended.’”