Elon Musk has accused a BBC reporter of lying during an interview amid a row over whether hate speech is on the rise on the social network.
In a late-night discussion with the broadcaster, Mr Musk went on the attack against a BBC journalist who had asked him to respond to claims that hate speech had become more prevalent on Twitter since his takeover.
After Mr Musk asked the reporter, US tech journalist James Clayton, for an example of the offensive content, he accused him of spreading a “false” claim.
Mr Musk said: “I say sir that you don’t know what you are talking about… because you cannot give me a single example of hateful content, not even one tweet.
“You claimed that hateful content is high. That is false, you just lied.”
Mr. Clayton defended his line of questioning, citing an organization that has warned about a rise in hateful posts on the site.
BBC ‘journalism’ at its finest 🤦🏻♂️
— Darren Grimes (@darrengrimes_) April 12, 2023
Despite the altercation, Mr Musk said he would bow to the BBC’s demands to remove a Twitter label designating the corporation as “government-funded media” after a row with the broadcaster.
Mr. Musk said he would agree to alter the disclaimer to read “publicly funded”. He added: “We want it to be as truthful and accurate as possible – we’re adjusting the label.”
The billionaire had waded into a dispute with the broadcaster after adding labels to state-funded media groups on the social network. He claimed the BBC was guilty of bias, although added it was “among the least biased”.
Elon Musk has laid off more than 6,000 people at Twitter since taking over the company, he told the BBC in a rare interview late Tuesday.
Musk was quoted as saying in the interview that the social media platform now has only 1,500 employees, down from under 8,000 who were employed at the time of his acquisition. The reduction equates to roughly 80% of the company’s staff.
It’s “not fun at all” and can sometimes be “painful,” the billionaire CEO told the British broadcaster at Twitter’s head office in San Francisco.
The world’s second richest man said that “drastic action” was needed when he came on board, because the company was facing “a $3 billion negative cash flow situation.” That left Twitter (TWTR) with only “four months to live,” he estimated.
“This is not a caring [or] uncaring situation. It’s like, if the whole ship sinks, then nobody’s got a job,” Musk said.
Musk purchased Twitter for $44 billion last October.
Alex D is a conservative journalist, who covers all issues of importance for conservatives. He writes for Supreme Insider, Red State Nation, Defiant America, and Right Journalism. He brings attention and insight from what happens in the White House to the streets of American towns, because it all has an impact on our future, and the country left for our children. Exposing the truth is his ultimate goal, mixed with wit where it’s appropriate, and feels that journalism shouldn’t be censored. Join him & let’s spread the good word!