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Layoffs, Free Speech, Bots: What Elon Musk Talked About With Twitter Employees

Musk wants to get Twitter to a billion users.

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Tech News
2 min read
Layoffs, Free Speech, Bots: What Elon Musk Talked About With Twitter Employees
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Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who inked a $44 billion dollar deal to buy Twitter in April, addressed the company's employees for the first time at the company-wide virtual town hall meeting on Thursday, 16 June.

Musk reportedly took questions about some of the concerns surrounding the deal and provided some details about his plans for the social media platform.

Here are the highlights:

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Twitter as a Business

Musk wants to get Twitter to a billion users.

He reiterated his interest in developing more for-pay services but admitted that advertising would remain important for the company, despite previously saying Twitter should not serve ads, Reuters reported.

"I think advertising is very important for Twitter," Musk said. "I'm not against advertising. I would probably talk to the advertisers and say, like, 'hey, let's just make sure the ads are as entertaining as possible.'"

Musk said he isn't sure what his title at the company will be but he intends to focus on making product-related decisions at the company.

Employees and Potential Layoffs

When asked about potential layoffs, Musk didn't dismiss the idea and said that Twitter needs

"Right now, costs exceed revenue. That’s not a great situation," he said, adding that significant contributors should have nothing to worry about.

Musk said there was a need for "rationalization of headcount" based on employee performance and reiterated his stance that employees should return to offices.

"Exceptional" employees could keep working remotely, he said.

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Bots and Free Speech

Musk previously claimed that the deal is "on hold" until Twitter can prove that its claims about the number of bots on the platform.

In the meeting he indicated he that he hates the amount of bots on Twitter and wants to make it more difficult for spammers and bot buyers to exist on the platform, according to The New York Times.

He added doesn’t think human authentication is a requirement to use Twitter, despite having previously suggested the idea.

Musk, who claims to be a free speech absolutist, said that anonymity is a priority for him since it can help people freely express their political views.

He maintained that people should be allowed to say anything they want on Twitter, as long as it doesn't violate the law. But the company also needs to make sure people “feel comfortable” with the service, otherwise they won't use it.

Aliens

Briefly during the town hall meeting, Musk brought up the existence of extraterrestrial life, even though no employees asked any questions related to the topic.

"I have seen no actual evidence for aliens," he said.

(With inputs from The New York Times and Reuters)

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Topics:   Free Speech   Elon Musk   Layoffs 

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