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Elon Musk wants Twitter to 'help humanity'

October 27, 2022

The Tesla CEO has said much of the public speculation about his intentions to buy the social network had been "wrong," and insisted his goals were noble.

The image of Elon Musk is displayed on a computer screen and the logo of twitter on a mobile phone
A court gave Twitter and Musk until the end of the week to reach an agreement or a trial against the billionaire will restartImage: Muhammed Selim Korkutata/AA/picture alliance

In an unusually long, platitude-laden tweet, the world's richest person on Thursday said he wanted to buy Twitter to "help humanity."

Elon Musk, whose $44 billion deal appears to have closed, even admitted that "failure in pursuing this goal, despite our best efforts, is a very real possibility."

Avoiding a 'free-for-all hellscape'

"The reason I acquired Twitter is because it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence,'' Musk, who typically projects his thoughts in one-line tweets, wrote in a long message aimed at advertisers.

"There is currently great danger that social media will splinter into far right wing and far left wing echo chambers that generate more hate and divide our society,'' he added.

He said he doesn't want Twitter to become a "free-for-all hellscape.''

Musk said Twitter should be "warm and welcoming to all'' and enable users to choose the experience they want to have.

On Wednesday Musk visited Twitter's San Francisco headquarters for meetings with executives. He also changed his bio on Twitter to "Chief Twit."

Musk's bid to gain the trust of ad buyers

The tweet from the self-described "free speech absolutist" was aimed at addressing some concerns among advertisers over his likely takeover.

"You do not want a place where consumers just simply are bombarded with things they do not want to hear about, and the platform takes no responsibility,'' Pinar Yildirim, associate professor of marketing at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School to the Associated Press.

Twitter's chief source of revenue is advertising. Ad sales accounted for more than 90% of Twitter's revenue in the second quarter.

Though Musk previously said he wanted to move away from the advertising model, on Thursday he wrote he wants Twitter to be "the most respected advertising platform."

Musk is funding a large portion of the deal through debt. One of Musk's biggest obstacles to closing the deal was keeping in place the financing pledged roughly six months ago.

lo/sms (AP, AFP, Reuters)