This week, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk sat down with Fox News host Tucker Carlson where they discussed the future of Twitter. Musk’s goal is for the social media platform to circulate more truthful news less centered around getting the most clicks.
Elon discussed how legacy media companies have become desperate in recent years, where they have turned to create the most sensational headlines to incentivize readers to click on the stories. Musk said this creates an asymmetry between negative and positive content since negativity makes for more sensational headlines. The Twitter CEO also stated this makes the news less truthful since writers are trying to stretch the truth as much as possible. See the full interview below:
“We’re at a shrinking pie obviously for most of the traditional media companies and read the more desperate to get clicks to get to get attention and it’s made them when they’re when they’re when they’re in sort of a desperate state they will then tend to really push headlines that get the most clicks whether those headlines are accurate or not,” Elon said. “So it’s resulted in my view, I think. I think most people would agree. Less truthful, less accurate news. So because they just got to get a rise out of people. And I think it’s also increased the negativity of the news.”
Elon continued, “So meaning there’s an asymmetry and sort of involve asymmetry and negative versus positive stuff. And also, historically, the negative stuff would have been quite proximate, like it would have been near represented a real danger. to you as a person. If you’ve heard negative news you because historically, you know, like a few 100 years ago, we’re not hearing about what negative things are happening on the other side of the world, or on the other side of the country. We’re only we’re hearing about negative things in our village.”
Musk also succinctly outlined the apparent goal of the legacy mainstream media, stating, “The news very often seems to attempt to answer the question, What is the worst thing that happened on Earth today? And you wonder why you sad after reading that, you know.”
Elon further explained how he intends to steer Twitter away from rampant negativity and untrustworthy news, stating he is trying to make Twitter the “least untrustworthy place on the internet. The billionaire told Tucker, “We’re trying to make make sure that the most trusted place on the internet the least untrustworthy place on there, and I don’t think anyone should trust the internet but maybe we can make Twitter the least untrustworthy. Like I said, try to get the truth to the people. As best we can.”
Aside from his ambitious goal of making Twitter a beacon of free speech and truth, Musk has also redefined the staffing norms for tech companies and other large corporations. Elon discussed in the interview how Twitter’s staff has been reduced by 80 percent since he took over the company in late 2022. This has inspired other business leaders to reexamine their own staffing levels to see if their respective companies could be more efficient with less employees.
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