Elon Musk Talks to Twitter Workers as SpaceX Says Shut Up Already

SpaceX workers say Musk is PR poison as he informs Twitter drones that cost outpacing revenue is ”not a great situation” for a real company
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Would-be Twitter owner Elon Musk took questions from an all-hands meeting of about 8,000 Twitter employees via video chat as part of his $44 billion attempt to acquire the social media platform. He had previously planned a chat with Twitter drones in April, when he became its top shareholder and was given a seat on the board, but he cancelled it when he decided to buy the company.

In an hour-long session, Musk answered a wide-ranging array of pre-submitted questions on subjects from “free speech, layoffs, and his plans for the company,” according to the New York Times. The billionaire SpaceX and Tesla CEO, and world’s richest man, also spoke about content moderation and remote work.

Musk revealed utopian, civilization-wide plans for the media monster in the virtual meeting, which was live-streamed to Twitter employees.

“I want Twitter to contribute to a better, long-lasting civilization where we better understand the nature of reality,” Musk said, adding that he hoped the platform could help “better understand the nature of the universe, as much as it is possible to understand.”

When Musk was asked what success would look like in five to 10 years, he cited an increase of daily active users and also said that he hoped to quadruple the number of people using Twitter to one billion worldwide. He said that he would be a hands-on owner , just as he is at Tesla. He’s especially ready to roll up his sleeves and tinker with the platform’s features, he said.

On the subject of content moderation, “We should allow people to say what they want,” Musk remarked. He referred to TikTok as an example of sorts, holding it up as a service that makes sure people are “entertained.”

More answers to burning questions: Yes, he is open to remote work—there were multiple questions on the matter, as nearly a quarter of Twitter employees work from home—but he’d like people to come into the office more in the future, as too much remote work can suck the “esprit de corps” out of a workforce.

Yes, Musk still hates spambots and wants to double-down on banning them for good. And while he didn’t answer whether or not there would be layoffs ahead, he did say: “Right now, costs exceed revenue. That’s not a great situation.”

Musk also wants to make major changes to how Twitter works, and would take the company private in order to revitalize the service and avoid public spotlight.

At one point, there was a moment of classic Musk when Mike Isaac, the New York Times reporter covering the livestream of the meeting, wrote, “I think Mr. Musk spoke about aliens for a minute?”

Musk agreed to do another talk with Twitter employees soon.

Meanwhile, back at the at extraterrestrial branch of Musk’s empire, SpaceX employees have written an open letter to the company’s executives criticizing the chief’s antics, according to the Verge. In short, they’re embarrassed by him.

“Elon’s behavior in the public sphere is a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment for us, particularly in recent weeks,” the letter reads. “As our CEO and most prominent spokesperson, Elon is seen as the face of SpaceX—every Tweet that Elon sends is a de facto public statement by the company. It is critical to make clear to our teams and to our potential talent pool that his messaging does not reflect our work, our mission, or our values.”

The letter suggests that SpaceX “publicly address and condemn Elon’s harmful Twitter behavior” including “swiftly and explicitly” separating itself from Musk’s “personal brand.”

It’s possible, however improbable, that the SpaceXers also found themselves a tad chagrined by wild, distasteful tales of mile-high shenanigans and alleged payoffs resulting in lurid, truly humiliating denials. We certainly wouldn’t know…

But we’d take that horse.


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