Elon Musk explains why he wants to buy Twitter

Hours after announcing a $41.4 billion cash offer to buy Twitter, Elon Musk explained his motivation on a TED conference stage on Thursday.

The Tesla CEO said that Twitter is a de facto town square and that it should be an inclusive arena for free speech.

“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,” he said in a conversation with the head of TED Chris Anderson. "The civilizational risk is decreased the more we can increase the trust of Twitter as the public platform."

Musk said that his intent was not to "monopolize" Twitter but also made it clear that he did have the funds to buy the social media company.

“I could technically afford it,” he said. “But this is not a way to sort of make money. (...) I don’t care about the economics at all.”

Musk argued that the Twitter algorithm should be open source in order to avoid any type of “behind the scenes manipulation."

His vision also includes adding an edit button (possibly for a limited amount of time after tweeting) and eliminating the spam and scam bots on Twitter.

“If I had a dogecoin for every crypto scam I saw…” he said in between laughs.

In an SEC filing, Musk said that if his offer was not accepted he would "need to consider [his] position as a shareholder."

The tech billionaire recently bought a 9.2% stake in the company and days later said that he would not be joining the board.

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Catarina is a reporter for The Block based in New York City. Before joining the team, she covered local news at Patch.com and at the New York Daily News. She started her career in Lisbon, Portugal, where she worked for publications such as Público and Sábado. She graduated from NYU with a MA in Journalism. Feel free to email any comments or tips to [email protected] or to reach out on Twitter (@catarinalsm).

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