Elon Musk
Elon MuskReuters

Twitter CEO Elon Musk “wanted to punch” Kanye West after the rapper’s tweet of a swastika he called an “incitement to violence.”

Commenting on Saturday after West’s latest suspension the day before for posting a swastika inside a Star of David, only days after his account was reinstated, Musk said: "At some point you have to say what is incitement to violence because it is against the law in the US.”

“Posting swastikas in what obviously is not a good way is an incitement to violence,” Musk told a live Q&A session on Twitter Spaces, according to media reports.

"I personally wanted to punch Kanye, so that was definitely inciting me to violence. That's not cool,” he said.

The suspension came shortly after West praised Hitler multiple times while being interviewed by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on his Infowars show. West’s offensive comments included saying “I love Nazis” who he claimed “did good things.”

Musk, who calls himself a “free speech absolutist,” said he drew the line at tweets that are incitements to violence.

Before West’s account was suspended, Musk tweeted: “I tried my best. Despite that, he again violated our rule against incitement to violence. Account will be suspended.”

Earlier in the week, Twitter told Reuters that it is using automated content moderation to restrict the prominence of unfavourable content rather than remove offensive speech.

“Hate speech impressions (# of times tweet was viewed) continue to decline, despite significant user growth,” Musk tweeted. “Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom of reach. Negativity should & will get less reach than positivity.”