Elon Musk calls Twitter acquisition ‘pretty painful’ in new interview

Elon Musk called his takeover of Twitter “quite painful” in an unexpected late-night interview with the BBC.

The tech billionaire met BBC North America tech reporter James Clayton at Twitter headquarters in San Francisco on Tuesday evening local time.

Asked about his previous comments regarding Twitter being “painful,” Musk acknowledged that was still the case, but added, “I didn’t get stabbed, like some people here.” The comment refers to the murder of Cash app founder Bob Lee, who was stabbed to death in San Francisco last week.

“I was constantly attacked,” Musk continued. “It’s not like I have a cold heart or anything. If you’re under constant criticism or attack and it’s being relayed to you, especially via Twitter, it’s tough, you know. Now, at the end of the day, I think if you lose your feedback loop, that’s not good, so I think it’s important to get negative feedback. I don’t turn off replies and I deleted my entire block list so I don’t block anyone either. So I get a lot of negative feedback.

“If the media is writing stories non-stop about why you’re such a horrible person, I mean, you know, it’s obviously hurtful,” Musk added.

When Clayton asked if Musk had a “strange” relationship with the media, Musk acknowledged that he did. “It’s sort of a love-hate relationship although it can be [going] a little more towards hatred. This is an integral part of media freedom. I take heart in the fact that the media are able to smear me on a regular basis in the US and UK and so on. Whereas in many places the media cannot say mean things to powerful people. But I think it’s better that we have a situation where the media can say mean things to powerful people.

Clayton also asked if removing verification badges from users, including legacy outlets such as The New York Times, could potentially spread misinformation on the platform. “I have to say, I was thrilled to pick up the verification badge from The New York Times,” Musk said. “Anyway, they’re still alive and well, so they’re fine.”

After the interview was over, Musk stayed online to answer questions via Twitter Spaces.

Origin of message: variety

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