Elon Musk announced this morning that he offered to buy Twitter for $43 billion. He just bought it last week 9.2% of the company then for $3 billion rejected a board seat. Conveniently, the controversial CEO of Tesla and SpaceX was already preparing to speak at the TED2022 conference for a talk that was so popular TED made the livestream accessible to the public.
In the first question of the session, TED boss Chris Anderson asked Musk why he was making an offer to buy Twitter.
“I think it’s very important that there is an inclusive space for free speech. Twitter has become sort of a de facto town 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 to deflect the question Talk about the movie “Ted” which stars a talking bear.
Anderson pointed out that Musk identifies as a “free speech absolutist.” Musk understands that Twitter must obey US laws (for example, it’s illegal to yell “Fire!” in a movie theater when there’s no fire), but he thinks that “if someone you don’t like saying something is not allowed to like … if that’s the case, then we have free speech.”
Of course, it’s not against the rules to contradict someone on Twitter, but the rules prohibit things like hate speech, targeted harassment, and COVID-19 misinformation, so it’s unclear what kind of changes Musk actually wants to make the rules of the platform. He said he wants Twitter to comply with the laws of the country it operates in, reflecting the approach platforms like To speak and truth social take. He added that he thinks it’s okay to give users “time off,” but that permanent bans aren’t productive.
Musk added that he would like 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 employees Frances Haugen’s document has been leakedshowing that Facebook prefers such content more likely to cause trouble.
Musk also wants to reduce spam on the platform.
“My top priority would be to eliminate the spam and scam bots and the bot armies on Twitter,” he said. “They make the product much worse. If I had a Dogecoin for every crypto scam…”
With regard to the controversial edit button, he suggested that the editing feature would only be available for a short time after posting a tweet. If a tweet gets edited, it might lose all of its likes and retweets — but that 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 $43 billion offer — he said he has “sufficient assets” to make the purchase, meaning the ball is in Twitter’s hands. But while the business mogul was on stage, The information reported that Twitter is likely to roll back its offer. In this case, Musk has already reassured the audience that he has a plan B, which he didn’t want to elaborate on (at least it’s not a plan B). preparation h). Twitter declined to comment to TechCrunch on The Information’s reports.
“This is just my strong, intuitive feeling that having a public platform that is maximally trustworthy and inclusive is extremely important to the future of civilization,” Musk said. “The economy doesn’t interest me at all.”
Towards the end of the conversation, Anderson urged the remarkable shit poster to get philosophical.
Musk noted that in his youth he was “obsessed with the truth” and that he studied physics to “understand the truth of the universe.” In a way, it looks like Musk is viewing his entrepreneurial endeavors from this framework: SpaceX is trying to explore the unknown, Tesla wants to push for more sustainable modes of transportation, and Twitter… is an agent of unfettered mayhem on the platform, where he want to say, “Do whatever you want as long as it’s not illegal?” Something doesn’t quite add up.
“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 think we should fight for a good future for humanity.”
That’s a wild statement from someone who posts more 42,069 jokes as a crypto-curious fifteen-year-old on Reddit.