Twitter owner Elon Musk has a reputation for surprising people. On Tuesday evening he made amends by awarding the British public service broadcaster BBC an impromptu interview at the tech company’s headquarters, discussing how his time at the social media giant was “a rollercoaster” and how he felt layoffs were “painful”, acknowledging that “I shouldn’t be tweeting after 3am”, and he also shared his view on a possible TikTok ban.
When asked about the US government’s demands that the Chinese owners of TikTok sell their shares or potentially face a US ban on the app, Musk told the BBC that he does not use TikTok himself. “It would help Twitter, I think, if TikTok was banned because then people would spend more time on Twitter and less time on TikTok,” he also shared. “But while that would help Twitter, I would generally be against banning things.”
Asked about his time on Twitter so far, Musk told the BBC: “It hasn’t been boring. It’s been quite a rollercoaster.” He also shared that the “pain level was extremely high,” adding, “This wasn’t kind of a celebration,” but “really quite a stressful situation over the past few months.” What does he think of the company’s progress since its acquisition? “Mistakes have been made along the way,” the mogul acknowledged, but added, “I feel like we’re headed to a good place.”
Musk said these layoffs were “not fun at all,” yes, even “painful” at times.
The Twitter owner also addressed the controversy surrounding the company that started charging for outdated blue verification check marks. When asked about media outlets, such as the New York Times, who refused to pay for it, Musk was defiant. “It’s a small amount, so I don’t know what their problem is,” he said.
When asked about another controversy, however, he had a mea culpa to share. Twitter has labeled the BBC, for which the British taxpayer pays an annual license fee, as a “government-funded media”, sparking widespread criticism. “We’re changing the label to ‘government-funded,'” Musk explained. “We’ll try to be accurate.” He also expressed his “greatest respect” for the BBC.
Musk didn’t shy away from a question about controversial late-night messages he’s posted at times. “Did I shoot myself in the foot multiple times with tweets? Yes,’ he said. “I think I shouldn’t tweet after 3am”
Musk also confirmed that he has “sometimes” slept on a couch at Twitter’s headquarters, sharing that it was placed in a “library on the seventh floor that no one goes to.”