Elon Musk says he ‘doesn’t care about the economics’ of buying Twitter – TechCrunch

Elon Musk announced this morning that offered to buy Twitter for $43 billion. Just last week, he bought 9.2% of the company for $3 billion, so refused a board seat. Fittingly, the controversial CEO of Tesla and SpaceX was already preparing to speak at the TED2022 conference for a conversation that was in such high demand that TED made the broadcast live. publicly available.

In the first question of the session, TED Director Chris Anderson immediately asked Musk why he made an offer to buy Twitter.

“I think it is very important that there is an inclusive space for freedom of expression. Twitter has become a kind of de facto public square, so it’s really important that people have both the reality and the perception that they can speak freely within the confines of the law,” he said, after jokingly trying divert the question to talk about the movie “Ted”, starring a talking bear.

Anderson noted that Musk identifies as a “free speech absolutist.” Musk understands that Twitter must comply with US law (it’s illegal to yell “fire!” in a movie theater if there’s no fire, for example), but believes that “if someone you don’t like can say something you don’t like … if that is the case, then we have freedom of expression.”

Of course, it’s not against the rules to disagree with someone on Twitter, but the rules do prohibit things like hate speech, targeted harassment, and COVID-19 misinformation, so it’s not clear. what kind of changes Musk would really want to make to the platform rules. He said he wants Twitter to conform to the laws of the country in which it operates, reflecting the approach platforms like. To talk Y social truth they are drinking. He added that he thinks it’s okay to put users “in time out,” but that permanent bans aren’t productive.

Musk added that he wants Twitter’s code, including its algorithm, to be available on GitHub. Several US lawmakers have called for more transparency around social media algorithms, especially in the wake of former Facebook employee Frances Haugen document leakedshowing that Facebook favors content that is more likely to incite anger.

Musk also wants to reduce spam on the platform.

“The top priority I would have is to get rid of spam and scam bots and bot armies that are on Twitter,” he said. “They are making the product much worse. If I had a dogecoin for every cryptocurrency scam…”

With respect to controversial edit button, suggested that the editing capability would only be available for a short period of time after posting a Tweet. Perhaps when a tweet is edited, he said, it would lose all its likes and retweets, but this would essentially serve the same purpose as simply deleting a tweet and writing something new.

It’s still up in the air whether Twitter will accept Musk’s $43bn offer: He said he has “sufficient assets” to make the purchase, meaning the ball is in Twitter’s court. But while the business tycoon was on stage, The reported information that Twitter is expected to reject his offer. In that case, Musk has already assured the audience that he has a plan B, which he refused to elaborate on (at least not a plan). Preparation H). Twitter declined to comment to TechCrunch in response to The Information’s reporting.

“This is just my strong, intuitive sense that having a public platform that is highly trusted and broadly inclusive is extremely important to the future of civilization,” Musk said. “I don’t care about the economy at all.”

Towards the end of the conversation, Anderson invited the notorious shitty writer to get philosophical.

Musk noted that growing up, he was “obsessed with truth” and that he studied physics to “understand the truth of the universe.” In a way, Musk seems to view his business activities from this framework: SpaceX seeks to explore the unknown, Tesla wants to push for more sustainable transportation, and Twitter… is an agent for utter chaos on the platform where he wants to say, “Do you whatever you want as long as it’s not illegal? Something’s not quite right.

“My driving philosophy is to expand the scope and scale of consciousness so that we can better understand the nature of the universe,” he added. “I love humanity and I believe that we should fight for a good future for humanity.”

That’s a wild statement from someone who posts more 42,069 jokes than a crypto-curious 15-year-old on Reddit.

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