Twitter Will Likely Play ‘Significant’ Role in Upcoming Elections: Musk


Twitter will likely play a “significant” part in the 2024 presidential elections and other electoral contests both domestically and internationally, according to CEO Elon Musk.

Musk made the comments in an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson that aired in two parts on April 17 and 18.

Musk also admitted that it remains to be seen whether or not purchasing the platform for $44 billion last year was a good idea.

“The goal of new Twitter is to be as fair and even-handed as possible. So not favoring any political ideology but being fair to all,” Musk said, referencing upcoming elections both at home and abroad.

Carlson then asked Musk why Facebook, founded by Mark Zuckerberg, does not take the same stance.

“My understanding is that [Zuckerberg] spent $400 million in the last election nominally in a get-out-the-vote campaign but fundamentally in support of Democrats. Is that accurate or not accurate? Does that sound unbiased to you?” Musk asked Carlson, who replied that it was accurate.

Musk was referencing the $419 million that Zuckerberg and his wife reportedly donated to the Center for Technology and Civic Life and the Center for Election Innovation and Research, ahead of the 2020 election, which helped turn out the vote for Democrats.

‘Some Things Are Priceless’

Elsewhere during his interview, Musk revealed that it is not yet clear whether his decision to purchase Twitter last year was “financially smart” but admitted that “currently, it is not.”

“We just revalued the company at less than half of the acquisition price… But some things are priceless,” Musk said. “Lose money or not, that is a secondary issue compared to ensuring the strength of democracy, and free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy.”

The billionaire businessman also said he was shocked to learn of the government’s alleged ability to access everything on Twitter when he took over the platform last year, including users’ private direct messages.

“The degree to which government agencies effectively had full access to everything that was going on on Twitter blew my mind,” Musk told Carlson. “I was not aware of that.”

Musk was asked by Carlson if this included users’ private messages on the platform, to which he explained it did.

“Yes, because the DMs [direct messages]aren’t encrypted,” Musk replied without elaborating further as to which government agencies allegedly had access to users’ private information on Twitter.

‘Twitter Files’

Musk has previously released internal company documents on Twitter, dubbed the “Twitter files,” to various reporters detailing alleged collusion between Washington and the platform in order to censor free speech on multiple topics, including COVID-19.

The internal files also detailed how Twitter staffers worked to suppress a New York Post article about Hunter Biden’s laptop ahead of the 2020 election and allegedly worked with the CIA on content moderation.

Responding to Musk’s latest revelation, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told Fox News that he had multiple questions about the government’s alleged ability to intercept and monitor users’ private messages, including whether the “rest of Big Tech” was involved.

“Is Google allowing the federal government to monitor Gmail, is Facebook allowing the federal government to monitor Messenger and WhatsApp?” he said. “Big Tech needs to be accountable: Are they helping the government spy on Americans?” he added.

Musk also touched on the growing threat posed by advanced artificial intelligence, calling it a danger to the public.

Musk founded OpenAI—the creator of the artificial intelligence system ChatGPT—with Sam Altman in 2015 but has in recent months led calls for AI labs to immediately pause training systems that are more powerful than ChatGPT-4 for at least six months, citing concerns over their possible “risks to society and humanity.”

“AI is more dangerous than, say, mismanaged aircraft design or production maintenance, or bad car production in the sense that it has the potential—however small one may regard that probability, but it is non-trivial—it has the potential for civilizational destruction,” Musk told Fox.