Elon Musk says his posts did more to ‘financially impair’ X than help it

Elon Musk admitted that his posts on the platform previously generally known as Twitter might have financially harmed the corporate in the long term, in a March twenty seventh deposition made public on Monday by The Huffington Submit. The billionaire additionally admitted to have a “restricted understanding” of the lawsuit for which he was being deposed.

The 22-year previous Ben Brody sued Musk for defamation final fall, alleging that Musk pushed a conspiracy concept that falsely recognized Brody as being concerned in a combat between two far-right teams in Oregon. Musk’s lawyer filed a number of requests to maintain the transcript of his practically two-hour testimony confidential, however they had been denied by the choose.

At one level, Musk is requested by Brody’s lawyer, Mark Bankston, about his buy of Twitter and what impression it had on his utilization of the positioning. Musk responded that he believed his posts had “actually remained unchanged earlier than and after the acquisition.” However he acknowledged that sustaining that angle probably did X extra hurt than good.

“The — and going again to the kind of self-inflicted wounds, the Kevlar sneakers, I feel there’s — I’ve most likely carried out — I’ll have carried out extra to financially impair the corporate than to assist it, however actually I — I don’t information my posts by what’s financially useful however by what I consider is attention-grabbing or vital or entertaining to the general public,” stated the proprietor of X. 

On a number of events, Musk expressed confusion over why Brody was pursuing litigation in opposition to him and primary particulars in regards to the case. At one level he accused Bankston — Brody’s lawyer — of performing a money seize by pursuing the lawsuit. “My — what I need to assume it’s actually about is about you getting some huge cash,” stated Musk. 

The main focus of the lawsuit is a sequence of tweets that Musk made final summer season that promoted a far-right conspiracy concept that falsely linked Brody to an Oregon brawl between the Proud Boys and a neighborhood neo-Nazi group. Brody, who relies in California, bore a imprecise resemblance to a participant within the brawl. On-line trolls shortly latched onto the speculation that the brawl was a “false flag,” and that Brody was an undercover authorities agent. Musk engaged with customers who had been pushing this conspiracy concept on X, agreeing with their conclusions that the brawl was probably a staged incident. On June twenty seventh, Musk replied to a publish that contained a video of the combat and advised that Brody was a part of a “false flag” operation. In fact, Brody was falsely recognized by on-line trolls as one of many males within the video.

“Seems like one is a university scholar (who needs to hitch the government) and one other is possibly an Antifa member, however nonetheless a possible false flag state of affairs,” Musk tweeted.

That tweet was instantly referenced by Brody’s lawyer. Musk argued that his publish didn’t have that a lot attain as a consequence of it merely being a reply.

“The replies get 100 instances much less consideration than a main tweet. So this was actually not any try to generate promoting income. In actual fact, usually advertisers wouldn’t need to promote with content material that’s contentious,” stated Musk. 

Given the dimensions of Musk’s account and his public prominence, his reply, which nonetheless stays on the positioning, was seen by over one million folks, Brody’s lawyer estimated.

“You do perceive that the quantity of people that noticed this, who’ve seen this tweet, is equal to all 30 main baseball stadiums stuffed to capability?” requested Bankston.

However Musk claimed that Twitter had 5 to eight trillion views a yr, and so one million views wasn’t vital on the platform. 

“No huge deal?” stated Bankston. 

“Hit and miss, yeah,” responded Musk. 

“Not an enormous deal that this went out to so many individuals?”

“Right. And extra of a — that is form of the factor the place advertisers, when it’s contentious, is not going to promote, which implies we don’t get income from it,” Musk responded.  

Musk additionally admitted that he was the proprietor of an account referred to as @ermnmusk during which he role-played as his personal toddler son. Motherboard and several other different retailers uncovered the mysterious account final yr.

Musk additionally made it clear that he didn’t consider that Brody, who was pressured to evacuate his residence at one level, was “meaningfully harmed” because of the false accusations that he helped unfold.

“Persons are attacked on a regular basis within the media, on-line media, social media, however it’s uncommon that that really has a significant damaging impression on their life,” stated Musk.


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