Elon Musk defended his offer to purchase Twitter on Thursday, saying during an on-stage interview at the TED conference that he sees the acquisition as nothing less than a turning point for civilization.
Musk said the proposed deal is not about the economics of Twitter’s (TWTR) business, but about ensuring Twitter remains a trusted platform for democracy — describing his vision in characteristically sweeping terms.
“This is not a way to make money,” Musk told TED chief Chris Anderson. “My strong intuitive sense is that having a public platform that is maximally trusted and broadly inclusive is extremely important to the future of civilization.”
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO railed against what he saw as a lack of free speech on Twitter, and said Twitter should open-source its algorithm to increase transparency in the company’s content moderation decisions. That would reflect a major shift in how Twitter operates.
“The code should be on Github so people can look through it and say, ‘I see a problem here,’ ‘I don’t agree with this,’ they can highlight issues, suggest changes,” said Musk.
Asked how he would change Twitter’s content moderation, Musk explained that his test for whether a platform adheres to free speech principles is simple: “Is someone you don’t like allowed to say something you don’t like? And if that is the case, then we have free speech.”