Musk says owning Twitter ‘hasn’t been kind of a party’ | Social Media News
In an interview with the BBC, Musk discussed his ownership of Twitter, including dismissals, misinformation and his working style.
Billionaire Elon Musk told the BBC that running Twitter has been “quite a pain” but the social media company is now pretty much on the edge after its acquisition late last year.
In an interview also streamed live Tuesday night on Twitter Spaces, Musk discussed his ownership of the online platform, including layoffs, misinformation and his working style.
“It hasn’t been boring. It’s a real rollercoaster,” he told the UK broadcaster at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters.
It was a rare opportunity for mainstream media to interview Musk, who also owns Tesla and SpaceX. After buy Twitter for $44 billion Musk’s changes last year included eliminating the corporate communications department.
Journalists who email the company seeking comment now receive an automatic response with a poo emoji.
The interview was tense at times, with Musk challenging the reporter to back up his claims about rising levels of hate speech on the platform. At other times, Musk laughed at his own jokes, more than once mentioning that he wasn’t the CEO but his dog Floki was.
He also revealed that he sometimes sleeps on a couch at the Twitter office in San Francisco.
Advertisers who avoided the platform following Musk’s tumultuous acquisition have mostly returned, the billionaire said, without providing details. Musk predicted that Twitter could become “cash flow positive” in the current quarter “if current trends continue.”
Because Twitter is a private company, information about its finances cannot be verified.
After acquiring the platform, Musk made massive layoffs as part of cost-cutting efforts. He said Twitter’s workforce had been reduced to around 1,500 employees from around 8,000 previously, describing it as something that needed to be done.
“It’s not fun at all,” Musk said. “The company will go bankrupt if we don’t cut costs immediately. It is not a situation of indifference. It’s like the whole ship is sinking, so no one has a job.
When asked if he regretted buying the company, he said it was something that “had to be done”.
“Twitter’s pain level has been extremely high. It hasn’t been some kind of party,” Musk said.
The effect of decisions made under Musk continued to ricochet.
On Wednesday, US National Public Radio said it was leaving the platform after Twitter last week called its main account “state-affiliated media“, a gesture that affected his credibility. The label on Twitter is typically applied to government spokespersons, in Russia and China, among others, who are often criticized for spreading misinformation.
Twitter has since changed the label to “government-funded media,” which NPR says implies government control over editorial content and undermines its credibility.
“We believe this label aims to challenge our editorial independence and undermine our credibility. If we continued to tweet, every post would carry this misleading label,” the news agency said in a statement.