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In a spontaneous sit down with the BBC, Twitter owner Elon Musk accused the interviewer of lying about ‘hate speech’ becoming uncontrollable on the platform, as well as questioning why the BBC failed to report on COVID vaccination side effects and instead spread misinformation about masking.
BBC tech reporter James Clayton told Musk “We’ve spoken to people very recently who were involved in moderation and they just say there’s not enough people to police this stuff, particularly around hate speech in the company. Is that something that you want to address?”
Musk then challenged the interviewer to name one instance of ‘hate speech’ he had come across on Twitter, which he remarkably couldn’t do.
Apparently the guy failed to do even a modicum of prep before the interview.
”What hate speech are you talking about?” Musk responded, adding “I mean, you use Twitter. Do you see a rise in hate speech? Just a personal anecdote? I don’t.”
Musk then asked Clayton to “describe a hateful thing,” to which the interviewer responded “Well, yeah, you know, content that would solicit a reaction, something that is slightly racist, slightly sexist.”
Musk then Clayton “if something is slightly sexist it should be banned?” and added “I’m asking for one example and you can’t give a single one…. I say sir that you don’t know what you are talking about.”
“You literally said you experience more hateful content and then couldn’t name a single example, that’s absurd,” Musk asserted.
“You cannot give me a single example of hateful content, not even one tweet. And yet you claimed that hateful content was high. That is false, you just lied,” Musk charged.
Clayton then changed the subject and asked why Twitter has stopped taking action against tweets breaching its rules on Covid misinformation, to which Musk responded “Covid is no longer an issue.”
Musk then asked “What about the BBC’s misinformation about Covid?”
“Does the BBC hold itself at all responsible for misinformation regarding masking and side effects of vaccinations? And not reporting on that at all?” he added.
Musk continued, “and what about the fact that the BBC was put under pressure by the British Government to change the editorial policy, were you aware of that?”
Clayton had no response and instead suggested the pair “talk about something else”.
Here is audio of the full exchange on ‘hate speech’ and ‘misinformation’
In a report broadcast later on BBC News, neither of the segments were shown, only other parts of the interview were highlighted:
Musk seemed to know that this would happen, hence the reason for streaming the entire interview on Spaces:
Elsewhere, Musk addressed the controversy over Twitter labelling the BBC as ‘government funded media,’ noting that he believes the label will soon change to ‘publicly funded media’.
“Our goal was simply to be as truthful and accurate as possible so I think we are adjusting the labelling to be publicly funding which I think is not too objectionable. We are trying to be accurate,” Musk stated.
He later added “If we use the same words that the BBC uses to describe itself, that presumably would be ok…it seems to pass a reasonable test.”
Elsewhere during the interview, Musk asked Clayton if he even likes the BBC, which drew another awkward response.
He also told Clayton that his dog is now the CEO of the platform:
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