Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said Thursday that social media companies should let President Trump back on their platforms, despite his “corrosive” election fraud claims.
Twitter cut the former president off from some 88 million followers after the deadly riot on Jan. 6, when a group of Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol while Congress was certifying President Biden’s victory, leaving five people, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer, dead. At the time, Twitter said that Trump’s tweets posed “the risk of further incitement of violence.”
Facebook, Snapchat and Reddit also suspended Trump’s online presence indefinitely following the siege.
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Gates, asked during an interview with CNBC whether he would let Trump back on social media if he were a member of Facebook’s oversight board, suggested he would do so.
“I think at some point he probably will be allowed back on and probably should be allowed back on,” the billionaire philanthropist said.
Gates suggested that if social media companies allow Trump to return, they could slap any false statements he makes with a warning label.
“It’s weird when you’re, you know, saying that the election was stolen without any facts there. And how corrosive that is,” Gates said. “But I’ll bet they’ll find a way to let him back on.”
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Democrats and a handful of Republicans have accused Trump of inciting the Capitol attack by refusing to accept the results of the November election and spreading unfounded conspiracy theories about voter fraud.
House Democrats, joined by 10 Republicans, impeached Trump on Jan. 13. The Senate voted 53-47 to acquit the former president on Saturday.
“You know in a way … people’s interest in what he says may go down quite a bit,” Gates added. “That’ll be interesting to watch.”
Since being banned from Twitter and other social media sites, Trump has generated far fewer headlines. He gave his first post-presidency interview during Fox News’ “Outnumbered” on Wednesday, after the death of conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh.
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