Jack White is the latest artist to quit Twitter in reaction to new owner Elon Musk’s policy decisions, calling his reinstatement of Donald Trump’s account the final straw.

White and Musk were once closer, with White describing the Tesla founder as the “Henry Ford of the 21st century.” White reacted angrily, however, after Musk lifted Trump's ban following a poll of Twitter followers on whether a long-standing ban on the ex-president should be lifted.

“So you gave Trump his Twitter platform back. Absolutely disgusting, Elon,” White posted to Instagram. “That is officially an asshole move. Why don’t you be truthful? Tell it like it is: You come into a ton of money, see the tax bill, despise paying your fair share, and then think moving to Texas and supporting whatever Republican you can is going to help you keep more of your money. How else could Trump possibly interest you?

“You intend to give platforms to known liars and wash your hands like Pontius Pilate and claim no responsibility?” White added. “Trump was removed from Twitter because he incited violence multiple times, people died and were injured as a result of his lies and his ego – let alone what his coup did to attempt to destroy democracy and our Capitol.

“And how about the division and the families broken apart from his rhetoric and what it did to this country? That’s not ‘free speech’ or ‘what the poll decided,’ or whatever nonsense you’re claiming it to be,” White says. “This is straight up you trying to help a fascist have a platform, so you can eventually get your tax breaks. I mean, how many more billions do you need that you have to risk democracy itself to obtain it?”

He acknowledges that Musk “did a lot of amazing things with Tesla,” admitting that “I personally supported the hell out of that venture.” But White says Musk has now “gone too far” and is using his power to “promote horrible, violence-inducing liars.” In the end, he thinks this move could serve to endanger the democracy that made Musk “rich and successful in the first place.”

White says he “believer in free speech, but for example I’m not about to let the KKK hold a rally at our record label’s performance stage … and if I owned a gas station, I wouldn’t be selling the KKK gasoline to burn crosses either, and then wash my hands as if I didn’t help facilitate hatred.”

Speaking directly to Musk, White concluded: “You took on a big responsibility with your purchase, and ‘free speech’ isn’t some umbrella that protects you from that.”

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