By Brian Fung, CNN
Elon Musk on Thursday defended his offer to buy Twitter During an onstage interview at the TED conference that he sees the acquisition as nothing less than a turning point for civilization.
Musk said the proposed deal is not about the economics of Twitter’s business, but about ensuring that Twitter remains a credible platform for democracy — describing his vision in the broadest of terms.
“This is no way to make money,” Musk told TED chief Chris Anderson. “My strong instinct is that having a public forum that is more and more credible and widely inclusive is extremely important to the future of civilization.”
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO railed against what he saw as a lack of free speech on Twitter, and said Twitter should open-source its algorithms to increase transparency in the company’s content moderation decisions. This marks a major change in the way Twitter operates.
“The code should be on Github so people can see it and say, ‘I see a problem here,’ ‘I don’t agree with this,’ they can highlight issues, suggest changes,” Musk said.
Asked how he would change Twitter’s content moderation, Musk explained that his test for whether a platform adheres to free speech principles is simple: “Is there someone you don’t like? And if so, then we have the freedom of speech.”
Musk thought that if a tweet was particularly controversial, the company probably shouldn’t be promoting that tweet, but added, “I think we’re going to be very reluctant to delete things and very much out of permanent sanctions.” Want to be careful; timeouts are better.”
Musk acknowledged that even if he bought the company, there would still be errors.
“I think everyone will blame me for everything,” he said. “If I take over Twitter and something goes wrong, it’s my fault, 100%. I think there will be quite a few errors.”
Asked if he has a backup plan in case his bid to buy Twitter fails, Musk said he has “different” ideas. But he declined to elaborate, saying he would have to wait “for another time”.
™ and © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., WarnerMedia Co. All rights reserved.