Elon Musk explains what he wants to change about Twitter

After his bid to take the social media platform private, the Tesla CEO elaborated on how he'd try to improve the user experience.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Following his $43 billion bid to take Twitter private, Elon Musk on Thursday explained what changes he'd like to implement on the social media platform. 

"A top priority I would have is eliminating the spam and spam bots and bot armies that are on Twitter," the Tesla CEO said on stage during a TED event in Vancouver. "If I had a Dogecoin for every crypto scam I saw," he added. 

Musk laid out other changes he'd make to improve the Twitter user experience, including open sourcing the Twitter algorithm and making the platform more transparent.  

If there are "any changes to people's tweets, if they're emphasized or de-emphasized, that action should be made apparent," he said. "So no sort of behind the scenes manipulation, either algorithmically or manually." 

The CEO, known for his own at-times questionable use of Twitter, tried to explain the light-touch approach he believes the platform should take when it comes to content moderation. 

"If in doubt, let it exist," he said of concerning tweets. "In a case where there's perhaps a lot of controversy, you would perhaps not want to promote that tweet. I'm not saying I have all the answers here. I do think that we want to be very reluctant to delete things and be very cautious with permanent bans. Timeouts are better."

In response to users' concerns about his control over the platform, Musk said, "I won't personally be there editing tweets." 

According to the Wall Street Journal, Twitter's board is prepared to throw up roadblocks in the way of Musk's takeover bid. That include allowing shareholders to purchase more shares at a major discount to decrease the chances of a hostile takeover. 

Asked Thursday whether there's a "Plan B" in the event Twitter's board rejects the sale, Musk said, "There is," but declined to elaborate. 

Musk said his intent is not to "maximize my ownership of Twitter."

"The intent is to retain as many shareholders as is allowed by the law in a private company," he said. "This is not a way to make money."

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