At Elon Musk’s first all-hands Twitter meeting prior to the completion of his pending takeover of the service, he answered many questions about how he would run the messaging service. According to a leaked transcript of the meeting, Musk mentioned cryptocurrencies several times.
Twitter’s chief marketing officer, Leslie Berland, asked Musk, “Can you talk a little bit about Twitter and payments?”
Musk replied that “money is essentially a form of information.”
He added, “I think it would make sense to integrate payments into Twitter so that it’s easy to send money back and forth, and fiat currency as well as crypto — essentially, whatever somebody would find useful. So my goal would be to maximize the usefulness of the service — the more useful it is, the better. And if one can use it to make convenient payments, that’s an increase in usefulness.”
Musk was also asked about problems he sees with the service, to which he replied, “There’s definitely an ongoing challenge with Twitter with bot accounts and spam accounts. There’s quite a lot of crypto scams on Twitter. It’s gotten better, but there’s still a fair bit of that,” he continued. There are also people where they’re not necessarily bots, but they might be operating. You know, one person’s operating hundreds of accounts and trying to make them look like individuals, but they’re not.”
Musk also espoused the idea of using transparency to build trust for the service, saying to emplyees, “I think it’s extremely important that there be transparency. So that’s why I’m an advocate of having the algorithm be open source so that people can critique it, improve it, identify bugs, potentially, or bias… transparency obviously increases trust… I think that trust is extremely important, and then just the usefulness of the system — getting rid of sort of troll farms and bots and spam is incredibly important.”
He also espoused free speech, in a common theme he has harkened back to as he pursued control of the social media service, saying, “I think it’s essential to have free speech and to be able to communicate freely … It’s free speech within the context of the law. So I’m not talking about suggesting that we just flout the law, because we’ll just get shut down in that case.”
It is unclear what the status of his $44 billion takeover bid is at present. Musk has, on numerous occasions indicated the issue with bots and fake accounts could break the deal, as he demanded more information to perform due diligence before committing fully to the deal. Some have even characterized the deal as being “on hold.”
However Twitter maintains there is no problem with bots, it has provided Musk with all relevant information, including what is referred to as “The Firehose” of all relevant user metrics, and that even if Musk were to feel bots were a deal breaker, the contract he has signed would allow twitter to force him to follow through on the deal due to the way the contract was structured.
While some have characterized the deal as “on hold,” others close to negotiations have described all parties on all sides as actively engaged in trying to bring the deal to a successful conclusion.