Elon Musk said he was “rolling on the floor laughing my ass off” at a BBC investigation, which showed that trolling, hate speech, and disinformation have grown on Twitter since his $43B takeover.
Musk mocked the BBC website story’s headline, “Twitter can’t protect you from trolls any more,” arguing that the social network was not exactly a utopia before he took control of the company last year.
“Sorry for turning Twitter from nurturing paradise into place that has … trolls,” he tweeted with a screenshot of the article from Marianna Spring, the BBC’s disinformation and social media correspondent. He later added: “(Real article from organization calling itself bbc).”
In another post, Musk replied “literally roflmao” to Billy Markus, founder of cryptocurrency Dogecoin, who said: “Before elon i NEVER had ANYONE say anything mean to me ever. it was a beautiful utopia. now i fear for my life daily.”
In another reply to a user called Shaman of Avalon, who claimed that “trolls are half the fun of being on here,” Musk said: “Have to admit trolls are kinda fun.”
The BBC said Twitter did not reply to its formal request for comment. As has become typical for the social network, Musk provided his own sardonic response online, inviting his legions of followers to join him in mocking journalism that raises serious questions about how he is protecting users.
Spring’s article is a teaser for a Panorama documentary she has made for BBC1. The journalist interviewed current and former Twitter employees, including Lisa Jennings Young, the former head of content design, who said that Musk had fired a safety feature team she led.
“For someone on the inside, it’s like a building where all the pieces are on fire,” a Twitter employee told Spring. “When you look at it from the outside the façade looks fine, but I can see that nothing is working. All the plumbing is broken, all the faucets, everything.”
The BBC said: “Both Twitter and Musk were approached during the making of the film, and prior to broadcast, to comment on specific points raised in the film. They declined to respond.”
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