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Elon Musk could make Twitter ‘worse’ on misinformation


Bill Gates said Wednesday that it’s unclear if his rival Elon Musk’s $44 billion Twitter takeover will end in positive change, saying it actually could make the social media app’s problems worse on the subject of misinformation.

Gates, who recently endured a barrage of mockery from Musk on Twitter after it was revealed that he’s shorting Tesla’s stock, weighed in on the deal during The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit.

“He actually could make it worse,” Gates said on the event. “That’s not his track record – his track record with Tesla and SpaceX is pretty mind-blowing with putting together an excellent team of engineers and taking the individuals who worked in those fields in a less daring way and really showing them up.”

“I type of doubt that may occur this time, but we must always have an open mind and never underestimate Elon,” Gates added. “What’s his goal? Where he talks in regards to the openness, how does he feel about something that claims ‘vaccines kill people’ or ‘Bill Gates is tracking people’ – is that certainly one of the things he thinks ought to be spread?”

Musk has pledged to change the strict content moderation policies implemented under Twitter’s current leadership to re-emphasize free speech on the platform. Critics of the Tesla CEO have pointed to his often-confrontational Twitter presences as proof that he’ll allow more abusive and harmful content to flow into.

Musk slammed Gates last month for shorting Tesla stock.AP

Gates has previously expressed “surprise” regarding conspiracy theories about him which have circulated on social media through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Musk and Gates were at odds with one another as recently as last month. A newly surfaced text message exchange between the 2 tech billionaires revealed Musk confronted Gates for not closing out a $500 million short position on Tesla.

“Sorry, but I cannot take your philanthropy on climate change seriously when you may have a large short position against Tesla, the corporate doing probably the most to unravel climate change,” Musk texted Gates.

Elon Musk and an image of his Twitter accountMusk is buying Twitter for $44 billion.AFP via Getty Images

Later, Musk mocked Gates in a tweet compared an image of the Microsoft co-founder to an emoji depicting a pregnant man.

When asked in regards to the tweets, Gates downplayed the dispute – telling the event’s host that it “doesn’t trouble” him.

“I don’t think whether one is brief or long on Tesla is a press release about your seriousness about climate change. I’m putting billions of dollars into climate change innovation. I applaud Tesla’s role in helping with climate change,” Gates said.

“And I even have nothing but positive things to say about Elon. If he makes Twitter worse, tremendous, I’ll speak out about that, but I wouldn’t assume that’s what’s going to occur.”

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