Elon Musk, the CEO of Twitter said he “certainly” would not “be doing any open-air car parades” over safety concerns during a two-hour Q&A audio chat on Twitter Spaces.
“Frankly, the risk of something bad happening to me, or even literally being shot, is quite significant,” Musk said.
“It’s not that difficult to kill someone if you wanted to, so I hope they don’t, and fate smiles upon the situation with me and it does not happen…There is undoubtedly some risk involved,” Musk added.
Musk, who calls himself an “absolutist” of free speech, added that, “At the end of the day, we just want to create a future where we’re not oppressed. Where our speech is not suppressed and we can express what we want to say without fear of reprisals.”
“You should be able to say whatever you want as long as you aren’t actually hurting someone else,” Musk added.
Since Elon Musk took over Twitter last month, this mindset has been evident.
Musk restored former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account, and he said he would issue a “general amnesty” to everyone who had been kicked off the platform but had not broken the law.
Along with ending the COVID-19 misinformation policy, Musk dissolved Twitter’s trust and safety teams in the midst of layoffs.
The “Twitter Files,” a collection of internal documents made public by journalist Matt Taibbi on Friday, were the focus of a large portion of Musk’s chat on Twitter Spaces, which took place on Saturday night local time.
Files in Taibbi’s thread showed Joe Biden’s team giving instructions to Twitter employees to remove specific political content in October 2020, just weeks before he was elected US President.
Screenshots of emails showed that Twitter employees intentionally suspended, banned, or censored users who commented on the controversy about the contents of Mr. Biden’s son Hunter’s laptop.
Musk says, “If Twitter is doing one team’s bidding before an election by shutting down dissenting voices on a pivotal election, that is the definition of election interference.”
“Truthfully, it was crazy how Twitter was acting like an extension of the Democratic National Committee,” Musk said.
Musk claimed to have given Taibbi and journalist Bari Weiss “unfettered access” to old internal documents, hinting that more would be made public and referring to them as “episode two” of the Twitter Files.
“This is not a North Korea tour guide situation, you get to go anywhere you want, whenever you want, however you want,” Musk said.
“I’m not controlling the narrative. It’s plain to see that there has been a lot of information control and suppression, including things that have impacted elections, and that this needs to end immediately. You simply want the information out there.”
However, during the Twitter Spaces chat, Musk admitted that the Twitter Files release had included some missteps, including “a few cases where I think we should have excluded some email addresses.”
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Yoel Roth, a former Twitter Trust and Safety chief who was one of the employees mentioned in Taibbi’s tweets, said that “publicly disclosing the names and identities of frontline staff members engaged in content moderation puts them in danger and is completely inappropriate.”
Regarding the errors, Musk said, “The aim here is to come clean about everything that has happened in order to build public trust for the future.”