Elon Musk is straightforward, media friendly and lot more

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BBC North America technology reporter James Clayton recently had the opportunity to interview Elon Musk, the CEO of Twitter. The interview came about after Clayton emailed Musk to explain how the BBC is funded, in response to a label Musk had added to a BBC account on Twitter saying “government funded media”. To his surprise, Musk promptly replied, and when Clayton requested an interview, Musk agreed to do it that same night.

During the live interview, which was conducted on Twitter Spaces, Musk was forthcoming and candid in his answers. He admitted that he only bought Twitter because a court was going to force him to, and he made a surprise U-turn when he backed out of the deal to buy the social media platform. Since taking over Twitter, Musk has made what many see as unorthodox business decisions, including laying off large swathes of his workforce and introducing paid-for-verification. Many also say Twitter has become a more dangerous platform for users without enough appropriate moderation.

Despite these criticisms, Musk disagreed with the notion that Twitter has become a more hateful place, and pointed out that reducing bots, which he says he is doing, will reduce misinformation. He also addressed a range of other topics, from the challenges of artificial intelligence to his love life and whether it was lonely to be a billionaire.

The interview was initially slated to be 30 minutes, but it ended up running for about 90 minutes. Throughout the interview, Musk was friendly and easy to access, which is in line with his reputation for being media-friendly. In reflecting on the experience, Clayton noted that none of it would have happened if he hadn’t sent that initial email to Musk.