Elon Musk says he has played “the fool” and landed himself in “all sorts of trouble” on Twitter.
He added his epic on-off £40 billion bid to buy the platform may prove he is a “masochist” but said he is driven to create a “trusted” and “transparent” ideas and news-exchange forum to avoid the further rise of the likes of Donald Trump’s Truth platform, which he described a “right-wing echo chamber”.
The world’s richest man said when asked by the Financial Times about his antics on Twitter: “Aren’t you entertained? I play the fool on Twitter and often shoot myself in the foot and cause myself all sorts of trouble.
“I don’t know, I find it vaguely therapeutic to express myself on Twitter. It’s a way to get messages out to the public.”
Elon has become one of Twitter’s most controversial users, with the “trouble” he has landed himself in on the platform including a tweet in August 2018 in which he said he funding to take Tesla private at £420 a share – a reference to the global marijuana celebrations on April 20 every year.
The Securities and Exchange Commission concluded after investigation the tweets had no basis in fact and hurt investors, and slapped separate fines on Elon and Tesla of $20 million (£18 million.)
He also landed in court in 2019 on trial for defamation after baselessly branding British cave diver Vernon Unsworth a “paedo guy” in a tweet to his then-22 million followers.
Elon, who met his ex-partner and mum of his kids X and Y, the singer Grimes, on Twitter, is now embroiled in a new court row with the platform.
It is demanding its “day in court” after Elon asked a judge to halt an upcoming trial over his deal to buy the firm.
He has spent months in a legal battle to get out of his agreement in April to purchase the company, then U-turned on Monday (03.10.22) and offered to close the deal at the original offer of $54.20 (£49) per share.
Elon, worth around $232 billion (£209 billion) told the Financial Times when asked if the original offer was a “bad joke”: “Twitter is certainly an invitation to increase your pain level. I guess I must be a masochist?”
But he added: “I’m not doing Twitter for the money. It’s not like I’m trying to buy some yacht and I can’t afford it. I don’t own any boats.
“But I think it’s important that people have a maximally trusted and inclusive means of exchanging ideas and that it should be as trusted and transparent as possible.”
He says the alternative is debate divided into extreme bubbles, adding about Donald Trump’s Truth platform: “It (Truth Social) is essentially a right-wing echo chamber. It might as well be called Trumpet.”