Elon Musk, the brand new owner of social media platform Twitter, has been warned by rights groups that if he makes good on his promise to reverse a Twitter ban on former president Donald Trump, it will provoke a backlash among users, The Guardian reported.
Musk has said that if he completes his takeover of Twitter, he will reinstate Trump to the platform. While this may thrill Trump’s base, rights groups and experts in multiple fields have warned this will open up the door to conspiracy theorists, hate speech, online violence, and more.
It could even clash with a new internet safety law in the European Union and the United Kingdom.
The world’s richest man, and Tesla CEO is in the process of buying Twitter for a whopping $44 billion. He describes himself as a “free speech absolutionist.”
Musk has said that he has doubts about the permanent Twitter ban on accounts, specifically Trump’s, whose account was suspended after his followers violently rioted at the U.S. Capitol last January.
Experts warn that a return of Trump to Twitter could lead to breaches of proposed rules governing digital content in the EU and UK.
This week, Musk confirmed that if he did complete this deal he would lift the suspension on Trump. He said he does not think it was “not correct” to ban him, and it was a “mistake” that alienated the country and “did not result in Donald Trump not having a voice.” He even labeled it “morally bad” and “foolish in the extreme.”
Ironically, human rights experts say that reinstating Trump is actually foolish in the extreme.
Experts in ethics say that Musk will face a backlash if Trump is reinstated.
Experts in free speech say Musk does not understand the concept or the true legality of it. You are not allowed to shout “fire” in a crowded theater, for example. At what point is someone violent enough online to garner genuine concern for the safety of the public?
A free-speech campaign group called PEN America said that Musk needs a better explanation for letting Trump in, questioning whether Musk judges Trump does not engage in incitement, or if Musk is saying that “sitting president egging on his followers to violence or insurrection is fair game on Twitter.”
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