Speaking at the CEO Council Summit hosted by the Wall Street Journal, Bill Gates said that he wasn't sure of Twitter's future under Elon Musk, who could end up making it worse.
Gates' comment has come after it looks certain that Musk will be at the helm of affairs at Twitter and adds to the opinions expressed by other billionaires, including Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, above Musk's move. Calling himself a "free speech absolutist," Musk wants the platform to take a step back on content moderation, which experts fear will increase hate speech and misinformation on the platform.
Musk's barbs at Bill Gates
Less than a fortnight ago, Elon Musk took to Twitter to mock Bill Gates and accused him of shorting Tesla stock. Musk also shared some screenshots of messages exchanged between the two billionaires, and they refused to work together on a philanthropic venture after that, Business Insider reported.
Musk was livid that Gates was shorting Tesla stock when the company was "doing the most to solve climate change". He later tweeted some crass comparisons of Gates with emojis.
However, Gates did not respond to Musk's comments on the platform and did not take the bait at the Summit either.
Good things to say?
When asked about Musk's comments on Twitter, Gates said that he was unbothered by them. However, Gates expressed concern that considering Musk's emphasis on promoting "free speech," adding that Musk could end up making Twitter worse.
Gates, however, pointed at the success Musk had enjoyed at SpaceX and Tesla to state that his track record was rather good, and we should have an open mind about the acquisition and not underestimate Elon.
Gates went on to say that Musk had a knack for putting together a team of engineers and showing people up in a less bold way. If money and engineers were all that was needed at Twitter, then Musk was good as anybody at Twitter, Gates added.
Gates' comment was probably leading to his next point about the spread of misinformation on social media. During the pandemic, Gates referred to theories on platforms that COVID vaccines were tracking people for him, calling himself a subject of misinformation. Gates questioned if that was the information, Musk wanted to allow on his newly acquired platform.
Referring to Musk's accusation about shorting Tesla stock, Gates said that his position on stock price was not an indicator of his seriousness about climate change, and he applauded Tesla's role in fighting it. We have previously reported that Gates has praised Tesla's contributions earlier.
However, if Musk's leadership made Twitter worse, Gates would speak about that.