AFP – Elon Musk on Tuesday said a new Twitter chief executive will let him devote more time to Tesla, but that he will continue to tweet his unfiltered thoughts even if it hurts his businesses.
“I don’t care,” the billionaire said during a CNBC interview when asked what he thought of his controversial tweets potentially hurting Tesla shares or making it harder to sell ads on Twitter.
“I’ll say what I want to say and if the consequence of that is losing money, so be it.”
Named as Musk’s successor as Twitter CEO, Linda Yaccarino is a respected media and advertising executive considered a visionary by some.
“Twitter is very much an advertising business; Linda is obviously incredible at that and she’s just a great executive in general,” Musk said.
“Linda will operate a company and I will build products.”
Since taking over Twitter in late October, Musk has repeatedly courted controversy, sacking most of its staff, readmitting banned accounts to the platform, suspending journalists and charging for previously free services.
Those moves have spooked advertisers, many of whom left the platform due to concerns over their products being associated with troubling content.
Musk has also cleared the way for Donald Trump to return to Twitter, but the former US president has yet to restart using the platform, choosing to post on his own social media site instead.
Were Trump to return and post unfounded claims about the 2020 election, a “community notes” feature would let Twitter users point out the misinformation, Musk told CNBC, adding that he did not personally think the election was “stolen” as Trump alleges.
Despite Musk’s stated positions on free speech, as well as his fierce criticism of content moderation around the 2020 election, Twitter recently admitted it yielded to Turkish government pressure to take down content ahead of last weekend’s elections.
“We received what we believed to be a final threat to throttle the service – after several such warnings,” the company said on Monday, amid outcry over the apparent hypocrisy.
“And so in order to keep Twitter available over the election weekend, took action on four accounts and 409 Tweets identified by court order.”
Musk told CNBC he will be focusing especially on artificial intelligence back at Tesla, which already uses such technology for self-driving capabilities. “I think Tesla will have a ChatGPT moment; I’d say no later than next year,” Musk said of Tesla AI used for autonomous driving.
ChatGPT bots from startup OpenAI, which Musk helped create, have captured imaginations and provoked fears regarding powerful artificial intelligence.