Elon Musk talks about the highs and lows of owning Twitter in BBC interview

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Elon Musk talks about the highs and lows of owning Twitter in BBC interview
Running Twitter has been "quite painful" and "a rollercoaster", Elon Musk has said, in a hastily arranged live interview with the BBC. (Image courtesy of BBC News)

Elon Musk, the billionaire entrepreneur who owns electric car company Tesla and space exploration firm SpaceX, has described his experience of running Twitter as “quite painful” and “a rollercoaster” in a recent live interview with the BBC. Musk, who purchased the social media platform for $44 billion in October 2022, said that he would consider selling the company if the right buyer came along. During the interview, which took place at Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco, Musk discussed his management style and work habits, as well as addressed concerns about the platform’s finances and the proliferation of misinformation and hate speech.

Musk acknowledged that the acquisition had been a difficult and stressful experience, but stated that he still believed that it was the right decision to make. He also discussed his efforts to improve the platform’s functionality and address issues such as the spread of fake news and the presence of bots.

Despite his difficulties, Musk expressed admiration for the BBC and apologized for the “government funded media” label that had been added to the broadcaster’s Twitter account, stating that the description would be changed to “publicly-funded”. He also revealed that Twitter is “roughly breaking even” financially and that most of the site’s advertisers have returned following a period of reduced activity.

The interview, which was broadcast live via Twitter’s Spaces service, generated significant interest from the public and media, with many commentators speculating about Musk’s motives for purchasing the site and his plans for its future development. Some have questioned his claims about reducing the presence of misinformation and hate speech, citing studies that show engagement with these accounts has actually increased since his takeover.

Despite the controversy surrounding his ownership of the site, Musk remains one of the world’s wealthiest individuals (but now in second position), with an estimated personal fortune of almost $190 billion. His decision to acquire Twitter was seen by many as a bold move, but the challenges he has faced since taking over the platform highlight the difficulties that even the most successful and visionary entrepreneurs can encounter when they attempt to enter new markets and industries.