Elon full interview 12 April 2023Apr 16, 2023
and hate speech? well you know who can say something is misinformation um who is the arbitrator of that is the BBC and you are literally asking me yes well no you want the arbitrations here on twitter because you own twitter. you like who this information can be dangerous that it can cause real world damage that can potentially cause um yeah so the point of the traffic is that the bbc itself has sometimes put things out that are untrue are you ok with that as a card ? I'm pretty sure the BBC have said things before that turned out not to be true, right?
It is whatever. 100 years of history. I'm pretty sure you are, even if you aspire to be accurate, there are times when you won't be. Think of the exact grandson, but agree that it has to be a line in hate speech terms. I mean, you're not looking at a total of 100 unrestricted speeches. if the people of a certain country are against a certain type of speech, they should talk to their elected representatives and pass a law to prevent it, for example, you can't advocate murdering someone who is illegal in the United States everywhere, i really suspect um so uh so they are on the limits of discourse um i mean i guess if you take your argument to a logical conclusion then do you accept that there is more misinformation on the platform if it's not being policed in the same way?
In fact I think there's less these days because we we removed a lot of the Bots that were driving scams and spam and previously the previous management turned a blind eye to the wife because her bonuses were tied to user growth and if you vote yes their conversation is linked to the growth of the user. well they're not going to look too closely at some of the users that are part of the problem so I think we have less information because we don't have the crashing issue that we used to have and I've also paid a lot of attention to the community notes that correct with the community itself correct misinformation it's been very effective um I mean I'd just add that you know we've talked to people who have been fired who used to be in content moderation and and we've talked to people very recently who are involved in moderation and they just say there just aren't enough people to police this stuff, particularly around, especially around hate speech, on the company show you're talking about, I mean, you use Twitter. true, do you see an increase in his speech?
I mean your personal anecdote, like what do you do? Personally, I don't, uh, for you, I would see. I get, I get more of that type of content. to talk to to talk to the rest of for the rest of twitter you personally have seen more hate speech i would say i would see more hateful content on that content you dislike or hateful what do you mean describe a hateful thing yeah yeah I don't know, just content that will cause a reaction, something that might include something that's a little bit racist or a little bit sexist, that kind of that kind of thing, so you think if something's a little bit sexist it should be banned, no, is that what? you're saying i'm not saying anything i'm just curious i'm trying to understand what you mean by hateful content i'm asking for specific examples um what if and you just said if something is slightly sexist that's hateful content does that mean it should be bad? well you asked me, you asked me if my feed has less or more.
I would say it has a little more. example I honestly don't need to I honestly can't name a single example I'll tell you why because I don't really use it for your diet anymore because I just don't like it very much a lot of people of people are pretty similar I just look in a second you said you've seen more shocking content but you can't name a single example not even one i'm not sure i used that fee for the last one because i've been been using twitter since you took over for the last six months ok then you should have seen at some point that you thought you had hateful content.
I'm asking you for an example, right? i can't give a simple one and i say sir you don't know what you're talking about you really do because it can't be a single example of hate content not even a tweet and yet you claimed the hate content was tall well that's false no what I created a slide what I didn't what I claim was there's a lot of organizations saying that kind of information is on the rise now if you have a lot of examples means well and literally someone like the Institute for Strategic Dialogue uh at the U in the UK will say that people will say all kinds of nonsense.
I'm literally asking for a single example and you can't name one that's correct and like me. I already said I don't use that feed, but how would you know that I don't think this is getting anything? You literally said you experienced more hateful content and then couldn't name a single example, right? And like I said, that's absurd. Haven't I actually looked at that feed? So how would you know this beautiful content because I say that's what I saw a few weeks ago? I can't give you an exact example. Let's move on. a certain amount of time um well covered misinformation BBC changes cover misinformation the BBC don't make the rules on Twitter so I'm asking you no I'm talking about what is the BBC misinformation on greed I'm just asking you about you change the labels covert misinformation labels used to be a policy and then it disappeared why is covert misinformation no longer an issue? does the BBC take responsibility for misinformation about vaccine blinding and side effects and not report on that? at all and what about the fact that the British government pressured the BBC to change editorial policy? why have you made space on Twitter i am not a representative of the editorial policy of the bbc i want to make that clear let's talk about something else okay let's talk about talking about something else you didn't expect let's talk about something else Narendra Modi, the BBC made a documentary um about uh Narendra Modi and his leadership during the rise Goods you're on um, so we believe that some of that content was removed from Twitter at the behest of the Indian government.
I'm not aware of that particular situation, so you're just not sure. what can appear on social media is pretty strict and we can't go beyond the laws of one country, but do you get if you do that to incentivize countries around the world to just pass more draconian laws? a choice our people go to prison uh or we abide by the laws we will abide by the laws the same goes for the BBC ok ok um since you became CEO there's been another story in town I'm not CEO anymore okay you boss sweat or what are you yeah no my dog Floki is the secret okay he's taking over I saw that yeah okay so tick tock been in the news too talk about maybe buy .
The administration wants to potentially ban or force it. a sale what's your point of view of the situation I don't really use tick tock um I mean one of the reasons I emphasize that I thought our goal here at Twitter is to maximize unrepentant user minutes or unrepentant user time considerate is that I heard many people tell me that they spent a lot of time on Tick Tock but they regret the time spent and that seems okay, well we don't want to regret the time, we want the time not to regret where you learned things, you were entertained. funny um okay frank me i you know i i get more twitter laughs than anything and a lot of people tell me the same thing so that's a good sign for the ticking itself like i said i just don't know enough about what's going on there um i can't say i have a strong opinion on tick tock so you have an opinion on whether or not it should be banned you know i'm generally against banning things um so it's probably not to Please, I'm serious.
Would it help Twitter? I guess if Tick Tock was banned, because then people would spend more time on Twitter unless I'm a tick tock, but even if that would be the case, even if it helped Twitter, I'd generally be against a ban. of things okay, um, do you sometimes feel like your many business interests might get in the way of you having an opinion? I mean, for example, Tesla has major connections in China. have a certain opinion about something or feel uncomfortable saying something because of their other business interests elsewhere i look uncomfortable actually i'm honest i thought they were comfortable um uh yeah i mean Tesla has activities all over the world and something like that like SpaceX um you know every once in a while those things conflict um but it's not like Twitter worked in China wasn't it bad in China?
So um and I certainly haven't received any communication from the Chinese government in regards to Twitter okay in terms of publicity obviously Twitter is not a private company anymore so we don't really know what it's like how you're going to do that all advertisers come back not all but most and you can see for yourself on twitter even in the before you feed well i mean sorry on the next i don't actually use it for you because it sucks
fullof hate speech. They told me, um, that's not what I said, okay, why don't you use it? for you, what's wrong? um, how's it going? is twitter profit now not twitter is uh uh rude i would say we're pretty much break even at this point and i think you've said before you see a you see a world where i could profit is there a timeline on the What do you think I mean depending on how things go if current trends continue I think we could be profitable or to be more precise we could be cash flow positive this quarter? if things continue to go well this quarter as soon as possible, yeah, wow, and do you have a message for the publicity?
I mean, can you tell which advertisers haven't come back? I think almost all of them have returned. or they said they are coming back there are very few exceptions, can you sign any of the exceptions? In fact I don't know anyone who has definitely said they're not coming back they're all training to come back but there are some who just can't jump in the hot water it's great that's your message to the advertisers who haven't come back yes I do say look uh you know yeah yeah Disney is comfortable um advertising you know kids movies and Apple is comfortable advertising iPhones those are good indicators that Twitter is a good place to advertise I want to talk about do you have regrets and you know I think you were Buddha Dave Chappelle concert I think your own lawyers kinda kinda good some say a little some say a little more um I think your own lawyer said you couldn't get a fair trial in San Francisco because there are so many people that he doesn't necessarily like you here yeah but you know i gotta say i was wrong he was wrong i guess huh because i was acquitted huh by the san francisco jury unanimously so yeah but i guess but look do you regret it to buy Twitter?
I think it was something that had to be done. I would say the pain level of Twitter has been extremely high, this hasn't been some kind of party, so it's been quite a stressful situation, you know, the last couple of months it hasn't been easy. I'm a little out of pain, I mean, it's been pretty painful, but I think, at the end of the day, it should have been done. but you know it's all good, it ends well, so I feel like we're heading, uh, we took a place, um, you know, where we more or less break even.
I think we're trending towards a positive flow very soon literally in a matter of months um advertisers are coming back um I think the quality of recommended tweets has improved significantly and we've gotten a lot of feedback from, uh, people who have looked at the open source recommendation algorithm and we have made many improvements. even since it's been open sourced and we're going to continue to do it overall I think the trend is very good so yeah I mean it was actually something I was going to ask you mentioned pain but you actually tweeted uh I think you said in February that the last three months have been extremely hard.
I wouldn't wish that pain on anyone. Okay, are you talking emotionally? I mean, can you explain? Oh, there was no static or anything like some people around here, which is dangerous, in the neck of the woods, it is or can be, but can you talk to me about the emotional tension of this? Yeah, I mean, look, I'm down. I've been under constant attack. I mean, uh, it's not like I'm cold-hearted or anything. even via Twitter um that uh it's hard you know um no no at the end of the day i think if you lose your feedback loop that's actually not good um so uh you know if it is i think it is actually it's important to receive negative comments.
I don't disable responses and actually got rid of. I removed my entire block list, so please don't block anyone either. um, so someone may know. So I get a lot of negative feedback. um, but I think it's actually good to get negative feedback right when you're talking about the emotional tension that you've come back to the feedback is that what's beencomments, uh, let's see, I was literally reading by looking. answers to you know the fact that just space is um is there any good questions i've missed in the last six months i'm sure there are a lot um i mean people in general seem to like this
interviewbefore i can talk from some negative feedback so overall positive its probably bad for me i guess there are some complaints about twitter spaces needing improvement.
Let's fix the twitter spaces as one of the comments, people like the fact. that my dog Loki is a CEO um and uh I'm really scrolling as fast as I can here um I actually knew this I just like to say I like BBC I find it funny um I think I mean honestly if look listening the
interviewthe answer about misinformation and saying oh we don't control misinformation the same way but as we try to get this because we try to take down bots it will be effective on bots there is actually less misinformation on the platform I don't think which is an important factor.
A lot of people, I think, will hear this. uh you know people who work contract accelerated moderation not that we don't huh huh i've talked to a lot of people who have been laid off so a lot of people have been laid off i mean you I'm past eight yeah the Censorship Office got fired um I don't think the guy to put a thumb on the political scales on the far left has let go because that's not right that's not what you want for a public a public Square you know you have to have the same treatment for people across the political spectrum so you know some of them will be upset about it but like I said my experience is there's less misinformation these days . no more um and that the community notes feature is extremely powerful in addressing so called misinformation um yes um one of them involves uh an alleged diamond mine diamond mine what i mean is whatever i care about your father owned in part yes my father never had a bird you are thinking of an emerald Emerald Emerald of mine yes I would like to see a picture of the alleged Emerald mine because you have been singled out by Unity in that tweet yes you know I don't but he never had an emerald mine. this is a total of not even 50 steaks no because in the community no but first of all it's ok do you think emerald do you think something like would have like um you know uh some kind of property record would have like a picture of that's not how it can say oh that's what I think you know these things are hotly debated if you have something valuable um you must have some record of ownership like a house but much more important than a house and yet there's no record owned there. there was no picture of this mine at all it doesn't exist it's fake so that's really good because there is a community note on who said this on day x blah blah blah so in that case your notes they didn't work so you're saying that's one way to resolve the misinformation, but you're literally saying that one of those community notes is wrong in the community.
I've never seen any mines or anything so there's no mine there's no mine I'm not right but at this point I'm just saying the community note says it's so you say it's this great great panacea but yeah it's literally in your own tweet the community notes according to you're wrong uh if they're referencing an article then the article may not be wrong but there's a communist it's not going to be perfect but it's average of hits from the community notes I found. be extremely high, so Community next Plus gets rid of millions and millions of bots every day.
I guess that's what we're talking about. Kinda a lot of people are going to really yeah really look the litmus test is people use the system and find out it's a really good source or they don't and no no system is going to be perfect huh on in is uh the search for truth um but i think we can be the best the least uh inaccurate that's our goal the least inaccurate and i think i think we could be there by now if we're not there we'll be there soon do you have? I have talked to people who think below.
Do you have a kind of message for people who think Twitter has gone bankrupt? Well we have an all time usage high so I don't think it was and some people think it has been I'll tell you yes it's probably the same people who predicted Twitter would cease to exist and their predictions turned out to be false it's ok i know i'm not going to ask if it's ruined because obviously not i think it's great it's so much better ok
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