Bill Gates Praises Elon Musk, Says People Should 'Never Underestimate' Him

Billionaire Elon Musk looks on
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News & Politics

Last week, Twitter accepted a $44 billion buyout offer from billionaire Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX.

With Musk about to take the company private, many are wondering whether the changes he has announced will ruin the social networking giant.

According to Microsoft founder Bill Gates, no one should underestimate Musk.

Gates On Musk Buying Twitter

Speaking at an event hosted by The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, Gates said Musk could make Twitter "worse," but noted that his track record speaks for itself.

"I mean his track record with Tesla and SpaceX is pretty mind blowing at putting together a great team of engineers and taking the people who work in those fields in a less bold way and really showing them up," Gates said, as reported by Business Insider.

"I kind of doubt that will happen this time, but we should have an open mind and never underestimate Elon," he added.

Free Speech & Misinformation

Commenting on the chances of Musk improving Twitter, Gates said "if all you need is money and hiring great engineers, he's probably as good a person as any."

The Microsoft founder suggested, however, that he disagrees with Musk, a self-described free speech absolutist, when it comes to allowing misinformation to spread on the internet.

"How does he feel about something that says vaccines can kill people or that Bill Gates is tracking people? Is that one of the things he thinks should be spread?" Gates asked.

Musk Vs. Gates

Elon Musk's Twitter page next to company logo
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In April, Musk took to Twitter to post a meme mocking Gates -- he posted the Microsoft founder alongside a pregnant man emoji.

Musk apparently shared the images in response to screenshots of a series of texts exchanged between the two men. The screenshots show that Gates shorted Tesla stock.

Gates said on Wednesday that he was not bothered by Musk's memes, but added that he doesn't think "shorting Tesla is an indication of your seriousness about climate change."

"I applaud Tesla's role in battling climate change. I have nothing but positive things to say about Elon. If he makes Twitter worse, I will speak out about that."

How Musk Wants To Change Twitter

Apart from loosening Twitter's content moderation policies, Musk reportedly wants to introduce an edit button, make the network's algorithm open source, crack down on spam bots, and introduce a subscription system.

According to Twitter’s former head of engineering Alex Roetter, many of Musk's proposals make perfect sense, but some would be difficult to implement.

Roetter noted, however, that there is not an "answer that’s going to make everybody happy" when it comes to misinformation and free speech, per CNBC.

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