Elon Musk slammed a reporter from the BBC who accused him of allowing hateful content to be more available and visible on Twitter. The Tesla and Twitter frontman asked him to bring forth a single example of hateful content that the reporter had seen, and when they were unable to list a specific form of it, Musk said, “You just lied!”
James Clayton of the BBC showed up at Twitter HQ to interview Musk, and the conversation eventually turned to hateful content on the platform.
I said BBC could come Twitter, then, to my surprise, a reporter shows up
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 12, 2023
When Musk asked Clayton whether the content was something “you don’t like or content that is hateful,” he asked for a definition of what is hateful.
“Content that will solicit a reaction, something that may include something that is slightly racist or slightly sexist, those kinds of things,” Clayton said.
Musk responded by asking if because something is “slightly sexist,” it should be banned.
Clayton responded by stating that he isn’t saying anything should be banned or allowed, specifically, but Musk asked for specific examples of either sexist or racist content that he had personally seen on the platform.
“You asked me whether my feed, whether it has got less or more [hateful content], I would say more.” Musk immediately repeated that he wanted a specific example, but Clayton could not bring forth a single specific instance of something that he considered “hateful content,” even though he had said his feed specifically had more.
“Can you name one example?” Musk asked. “I honestly don’t…” Before Musk said, “You can’t name a single example?”
Clayton said, “I’ll tell you why. Because I don’t actually use that ‘For You’ feed anymore because I just don’t particularly like it. A lot of people are quite similar.”
Musk went on to ask how Clayton could say that hateful content has increased on his feed, in his perspective, but that he does not use the ‘For You’ feed anymore. Clayton said that he has stuck to the ‘Followers’ feed for the past 3-4 weeks, and Musk asked, “Then how do you see that hateful content.”
“Because I’ve been using Twitter since you’ve taken it over for the last six months,” Clayton responded.
“Okay, so then you must have at some point seen ‘For You’ hateful content. I’m asking for one example,” Musk said. Clayton was still unable to give one example, and Musk broke down the argument even further by stating that, while he was convinced hateful content had increased based on his own experience, yet was unable to bring up an example, he falsified his point.
“You just lied!” Musk said.
Clayton then said that “there are many organizations” that claim hateful content has increased under Musk’s ownership of Twitter. Under Clayton’s own experience, however, he stated he experienced more hateful content, then couldn’t name an example.
The full encounter is available below.
ICYMI – BBC reporter caught out by Elon Musk on “hate speech.”pic.twitter.com/oC5yOolPAP
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) April 12, 2023
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