Six months after purchasing the firm for $44 billion, Twitter CEO Elon Musk said running the social media network has been “quite a rollercoaster” and acknowledged “many mistakes” along the road.
Musk appeared to implicitly recognize that one of those mistakes was the choice to refer to the broadcaster’s account as “government-funded media” in a live interview with the BBC after accepting a last-minute request for the “spontaneity” of it.
After the BBC objected, he promised to modify the identification on the broadcaster’s Twitter handle.
“We’re changing the label to “publicly funded” because we want it to be as truthful and accurate as possible,” Musk added.
A yearly license fee that is established by the government but paid by individual families is the main source of funding for Britain’s national broadcaster.
The criticism over the designation comes after a previous incident involving the US radio network NPR, which Twitter momentarily labeled as “state-affiliated” in a manner similar to how it does with government-run Chinese and Russian outlets.
NPR ceased tweeting in opposition.
Now that NPR has nearly 9 million followers, Twitter has tagged it as “government-funded media” and has done the same for the BBC.
For years, Musk has proclaimed his intense contempt for the news media. More recently, he added an automatic poop emoji response to emails received to the website’s primary media address.
In a late-night interview with the BBC on Tuesday, he also discussed Twitter’s contentious decision to remove the New York Times’ blue verified check mark after the newspaper refused to pay to preserve it.
Starting on April 20, any legacy verified Twitter accounts that were confirmed as genuine under the previous ownership of the company will have to pay to join Twitter Blue.
Musk stated that he does not want Twitter to support “some anointed class of journalists” who decide what counts as news as one of the reasons for this.
“I’m hopeful that this can be more of a case of the public choosing the narrative, as opposed to the media choosing the narrative,” he said.
He claimed that Twitter would “treat everyone equally”.
Musk said it had been “a stressful situation over the last several months” while reflecting on his stint as the social media network’s CEO since he assumed the position in October.
Were there a lot of errors along the way? Yes,” he replied. But everything works out in the end. I think our direction is positive.
With the return of sponsors, he said that the business was now “roughly breaking even”.
After resigning in response to a user poll on the website, he named his dog, Floki, when asked who would take over as CEO of Twitter.