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Bill Gates questions Elon Musk's targets with Twitter: 'He may make it worse'

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Speaking on the on the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Summit Wednesday, Gates requested of Elon Musk: “How does he feel about something [on Twitter] that says ‘vaccines kill people’ or that ‘Bill Gates is tracking people?'”

Jeff J Mitchell | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Bill Gates has warned that Elon Musk may make Twitter “worse” after the Tesla CEO pledged to purchase the social media agency for $44 billion.

Speaking on the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Summit Wednesday, Gates stated it is unclear how Musk will change Twitter if he takes possession whereas additionally elevating considerations concerning the unfold of misinformation on social media platforms.

The Microsoft co-founder admitted that Musk’s monitor file at different firms is spectacular, hailing his time on the helm of Tesla and SpaceX as “mind-blowing.” Gates stated he believed Musk had carried out a superb job of placing collectively an important crew of engineers at these firms.

“I kind of doubt that will happen this time, but we should have an open mind and never underestimate Elon,” he stated.

The tech billionaire’s feedback come after Musk accused him of shorting Tesla inventory final month. Musk additionally tweeted a crude joke about Gates that CNBC has determined to not print. Gates stated the insults do not trouble him.

Gates, who has been changed by Musk because the world’s richest individual lately, went on to query what Musk’s purpose is with Twitter and whether or not his drive to advertise free speech is wise.

“How does he feel about something [on Twitter] that says ‘vaccines kill people’ or that ‘Bill Gates is tracking people?”” Gates asked.

“What are his targets for what it finally ends up being? Does that match this concept of much less excessive falsehoods spreading so shortly [and] bizarre conspiracy theories? Does he share that purpose or not?” Gates said.

A representative for Musk did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Over the last few weeks, Musk has hinted at a number ways he may look to improve Twitter beyond promoting free speech. Late on Tuesday, for example, he suggested that he may start charging companies a “slight” fee to use the platform.

Combating misinformation

Vaccine misinformation has spread like wildfire on social media during the Covid-19 pandemic, with some wrongly claiming that Gates was somehow using vaccines to implant 5G chips into people so that he could track their location.

“That’s so sudden and nearly so weird,” Gates said. “Now that I’m again within the bodily world … folks come up and yell and protest.”

He said it’s “harmful” when people “forged out” on the key tool that’s being used to save people’s lives and he believes those who own social media platforms have a role to play when it comes to ensuring the truth gets shared effectively.

Musk’s plan to buy Twitter has worried policymakers around the world.

Joe Skipper | Reuters

“When you do not have the trusted leaders talking out about vaccines, it is fairly laborious for the platform to work towards that,” he admitted. “So I believe we now have a management drawback and we now have a platform drawback.”

“The means that you simply make these platforms unfold fact and never loopy stuff, there’s some actual invention required there,” Gates said.

“It’s an enormous drawback when it comes to legitimacy of elections or medical improvements … any type of collective habits,” he added.

The fact that information on the efficacy of drugs can move quickly and cheaply should be a blessing to mankind, Gates said, before going on to call the hydroxychloroquine saga “insane.”

“I can not clarify that,” he said. “I do not assume digital is liable for that obsession with medication that do not work.”

Gates said he plans to set up a 3,000-person social media unit to help propagate accurate vaccine information in the future. He stressed that “good messages” should be carried ahead by folks of belief in the neighborhood, corresponding to political and ethnic leaders.

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