Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, the world’s richest person, and recently the largest shareholder in Twitter who is now offering to buy the company in its entirety, reiterated his statements in support of online free speech today. Speaking during an interview at TED 2022, the mega-billionaire also said there is a “plan B” if Twitter’s board does not accept his offer to buy out the company, but would not elaborate on what that plan is. In the interview, Musk said that his motivations for purchasing Twitter were not primarily financial. “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,” said Musk. “I don’t care about the economics at all.” The tech mogul went on to describe his own definition of free speech, and his philosophy on content moderation. “If in doubt, let the speech — let it exist,” said Musk. “If it’s a grey area, I would say, let the tweet exist.” “But in a case where there’s perhaps a lot of controversy, you would not necessarily want to promote that tweet.” “I’m not saying I have all the answers here,” continued Musk. “But I do think that we want to be very reluctant to delete things, and just be very cautious with permanent bans. Timeouts, I think, are better than permanent bans.” “A good sign as to whether there’s free speech is, is someone you don’t like allowed to say something you don’t like? If that is the case then we have free speech.” “And it’s damn annoying, when someone you don’t like says something you don’t like. That is a sign of a healthy, functioning, free speech situation.” Musk’s emphasis on his values-based motivations for buying Twitter stock echo what he wrote in his purchase offer to Twitter’s board, disclosed earlier today. In the letter, Musk said he believes “free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy,” but that Twitter will “neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form.” Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election..
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