Elon Musk provided a glimpse of his plans are for Twitter during a virtual a virtual appearance at the Qatar Economic Forum.
Musk said he could not give full details on what was happening with the transaction, but did say that he viewed Twitter as the digital town square and that he wanted 80 percent of North American and “half of the world or something” to use the platform in one form or another.
“In terms, generally, of that issue of freedom of speech and Twitter, you’ve talked about Twitter making it even freer and letting more people onto it. Is there a limit at all to who you think should be allowed onto Twitter?” the interviewer asked.
“Yeah, well, my aspiration for Twitter, or in general, for the digital town square would be that it is as inclusive in the broader sense of the word as possible; that it is an appealing system to use. Ideally, I’d like to get 80% of, that’s in North America and perhaps, I don’t know, half the world or something, ultimately on Twitter in one form or another. That means it must be something that is appealing to people. It obviously cannot be a place where they feel uncomfortable, or harassed, or they’ll simply not use it,” he said.
He continued: “There’s this big difference between freedom of speech and freedom of reach, in that one can obviously, let’s say in the United States, go in the middle of Times Square and pretty much yell anything you want, and you’ll annoy the people around you, but you’re allowed to just yell whatever you want in a crowded public place, more or less, apart from this is a robbery, probably that would get you in trouble.
“Whatever you say, however controversial, does not need to then be broadcast to the whole country. Generally, the approach of Twitter should be to let people say what they want to do, within the bounds of the law, but then limit who sees that based on any given Twitter use of preferences. If your preferences are to see anything, or read anything, then, well, you’ll get that. If your preferences are you prefer not to see comments that you find offensive in one form or another, then you can have that as a setting, and not see it. One way or another one needs to take the steps that entice most people to want to be on Twitter, and enjoy it, and find it informative, and entertaining, and funny, and useful as possible.
He said that his role at the company would be to ‘drive the product” which he says is his role at SpaceX and Tesla. “I drive the product in technology. Whether I’m called the CEO, or something else, is much less important than my ability to drive the product in the right direction,” he said.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Twitte Board of Directors wrote to Shareholders that it has “determined that the merger agreement is advisable and the merger and the other transactions contemplated by the merger agreement are fair to, advisable and in the best interests of Twitter and its stockholders; and adopted and approved the merger agreement, the merger and the other transactions contemplated by the merger agreement.”
The filing reads : Twitter’s Board of Directors unanimously recommends that you vote: (1) “FOR” the adoption of the merger agreement;
(2) “FOR” the compensation that will or may become payable by Twitter to its named executive officers in connection with the merger; and
(3) “FOR” the adjournment of the special meeting, from time to time, to a later date or dates, if necessary or appropriate, to solicit additional proxies if there are insufficient votes to adopt the merger agreement at the time of the special meeting.