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Elon Musk's Feeling Are Hurt, He Concedes in Facile BBC Interview

By Dustin Rowles | Social Media | April 12, 2023 |

By Dustin Rowles | Social Media | April 12, 2023 |


Last night, Elon Musk gave a facile interview to an unprepared BBC reporter about Musk’s management of Twitter since buying the social media platform for $44 billion six months ago. The reporter did little to push back (where is Jon Stewart when you need him?) as Musk defended his decision to buy Twitter, despite admitting that running it had been “painful” and that he had only gone ahead with the acquisition because he believed he would lose his legal case to back out of it.

Since taking over, Musk says that he has slashed staff numbers to 1,500 from just under 8,000, and made big changes to the platform, including introducing an $8 monthly blue-check subscription, in an effort to turn around Twitter’s losses. (Reality: There have been very few noteworthy changes, except that it’s glitchier, there are more ads, the For You algorithm is useless, and it’s more overrun with hate speech).

He said that Twitter was on a path to be cash-flow positive this quarter, but he provided no evidence to support this unlikely claim. He also defended the mass layoffs, saying the company was four months from going bankrupt and that “drastic action” was needed. Musk also discussed his mission to make Twitter as accurate as possible, by removing automated accounts, although he admitted that “no system is going to be perfect.”

Musk remains determined to phase out the verification checks for celebrities, influencers, and journalists. He said on Twitter yesterday that checkmarks for those who did not pay would be removed on April 20th. He also said that the media was reluctant to pay for blue checks, despite it being a “small amount of money.” (Musk has not demonstrated any value whatsoever in possessing a blue check once they are limited to paying customers).

Meanwhile, when asked who would succeed him as CEO, Musk joked that his dog was in charge. “I did stand down,” he said, referring to an online poll he said he’d abide by that voted he step down as CEO. “I keep telling you, I’m not the CEO of Twitter. My dog is the CEO of Twitter.”

“I said I would appoint a new CEO, and I did, and it’s my dog,” he added later.

via NYTimes, WashPo

(The header image is an AI-generated photo of Elon Musk combined with Lee Pace, in case anyone ever tells you that AI is not evil.)