Elon Musk conducted his first meeting with Twitter employees even though the hype over his purchase for the social media leviathan has long since passed.
Speaking through a cell phone, Musk engaged with the 7.500-plus staffers in a Q&A format that was largely impromptu.
The billionaire is still waiting on Twitter to reveal exactly how many fake accounts have been allowed on the platform, wherefore his $44 billion takeover has not been finalized.
Leslie Berland, Twitter’s chief marketing officer, moderated the Q&A.
“So tell us, say more, why do you love Twitter and why do you want to buy Twitter?’ she asked, as the Daily Mail reported.
Musk replied, “Well um let’s see. I feel like I learn a lot from what I read and see on Twitter. The pictures, videos, texts and memes that people create. I also find it’s a great way to get a message out. If I want to say something and make an announcement I think Twitter is the best way to do that. It goes out to everyone. You know I made a joke already, but some people use their hands to express themselves. I use Twitter. I find it’s the best forum for communicating with a lot of people simultaneously and getting the message directly to people.”
“I think there’s an important role for the media to play but for anyone who’s read a newspaper, it’s coming through quite a negative lens. So how many newspaper articles do you read that are positive and how many that are negative?”
Musk said he hopes to bring millions more users to Twitter – ideally at least one billion active subscribers – but in order to achieve that goal, users must have a sense of comfort and enjoyment.
“Freedom of speech is one thing. Anyone can go to Times Square right now and say anything they want. They can deny the holocaust ok? That doesn’t mean that it needs to be promoted to millions of people. So I think people can say outrageous things within the bounds of the law but it doesn’t have to get amplified and I think an important goal for Twitter is to try and include as much of the country, as much of the world as possible.”
He continued, “Currently it’s a relatively small percentage of the world, a small percentage is on Twitter. Let’s say 200 million users here, you’ve got 8 billion people in the world, that’s 7.8 billion who are not on Twitter. That’s a pretty big number. You want as much of the world on Twitter, you want to be inclusive as possible for the broadest demographic. In order for that to happen people must like being on Twitter. If people are, like, being harassed or they’re uncomfortable they’re just not going to use Twitter.”
“So we have to strike this balance of letting people say what they want to say but also making them comfortable on Twitter or they simply won’t use it,” he said.
$TWTR virtual meeting has ended. @elonmusk set a goal of 1 billion Twitter mDAUS, said he doesn’t have to be CEO (wants to drive product and be listened to), will tolerate “pretty outrageous” tweets, will allow excellent staff to work from home, and has never seen an alien. $tsla
— Gary Black (@garyblack00) June 16, 2022
Musk is also not opposed to making Twitter a paid service, which he says will make it too expensive for bad actors to disrupt the platform and influence its users. He also suggests monetizing Twitter in the way that YouTube creators have benefited.
“Enhancing the core technology and offerings of Twitter. Like right now if someone does a video, a content creator does a video, then they’ll put that video on YouTube and just put a link to it on Twitter because they are able to monetize content on YouTube but not on Twitter,” he explained. “You want people to put content on Twitter or we have to be a place where content creators can monetize that. So they can post to YouTube and to Twitter but it’s crazy right now that content creators will use Twitter to drive traffic to their YouTube videos because that’s how they make a living. And that really should be on Twitter.”
“Essentially it needs to be much more expensive to have a troll army whereas right now it’s very inexpensive to have 100,000 fake Twitter accounts,” Musk said.
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