Billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk told the crowd at the TED2022 conference in Vancouver today that his move to buy Twitter is not about money but about “the future of civilization.”
“This is not about money,” Musk said.
“My strong intuitive sense is having a public platform that is maximally trusted and broadly inclusive is important to the future of civilization.
“The civilizational risk is decreased the more we can increase the trust of Twitter as a public platform.
“Twitter has become kind of the de facto town square, so it’s really important that people have both the reality and perception that they are able to speak freely, in the bounds of the law.
“Having a black box algorithm that promotes some things and demotes others is really dangerous,” he said of his plans to make it public if he gets control.
“A good sign as to whether there is free speech is when someone you don’t like, is allowed to say something you don’t like.
“If that is the case, then you have free speech,” he said.
“Twitter should match the laws of the country, and in my view, there’s an obligation to do that.
“Going beyond that.. tweets mysteriously promoted and demoted.. this can be quite dangerous,” he said.
“I don’t care about the economics at all,” he said.
“I have sufficient assets,” Musk added.
“I can do it if possible.”
Asked by TED’s Chris Anderson if there was a “Plan B” if his offer is rejected, Musk said, “There is.”
He said of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC):
“I don’t mean to blame everyone at the SEC but certainly the San Francisco office.
“It was because the SEC knew that funding was secured but they pursued an active, public investigation nonetheless.
“At the time, Tesla was in a precarious financial situation and I was told by the banks that if I did not agree to settle with the SEC that they would, the banks would cease providing working capital and Tesla would go bankrupt immediately.
“So that’s like having a gun to your child’s head.
“So I was forced to concede to the SEC unlawfully,” he said.
Elon explaining his Twitter offer on TED Talk Live #tesla #elonmusk pic.twitter.com/fbKHOVXa0Z
— Tesla Nakamoto (@TeslaNakamoto) April 14, 2022
Elon Musk on Ted Talk:“My strong intuitive sense is that having a public platform that is maximally trusted and broadly inclusive is extremely important to the future of civilization.” pic.twitter.com/5ly6JCDH2P
— Wittgenstein (@backtolife_2022) April 14, 2022
“I think it’s very important for that to be an inclusive arena for free speech… Twitter has become kind of a de facto town square.”
Elon Musk talks his plans for the social media company at a TED event in Vancouver https://t.co/zQHzqLO1vU pic.twitter.com/xkJWYBuy9E
— Bloomberg TV (@BloombergTV) April 14, 2022