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Musk calls out BBC reporter over ‘lies’

Elon Musk has accused a BBC reporter of lying about hate speech on Twitter.

An audio excerpt from a Twitter Spaces discussion showed US-based tech journalist James Clayton struggling to justify his own questions on the alleged rise of offensive content on the social media platform.

  • At one point in the interview, Clayton asked Musk to respond to claims that hate speech had become more prevalent on Twitter, and that there was not enough moderation staff after Musk admitted to laying off over 80% of the company’s workforce since his takeover last October.

After Musk asked the reporter to clarify the allegations, Clayton claimed that he had personally seen more “hateful content” in his ‘For You’ feed since the billionaire took over the company.

The Twitter CEO then asked the journalist to define what he meant by “hateful content” and to provide at least one example of an offensive post he had seen.

Clayton replied that he views “hateful content” as “slightly racist” and “slightly sexist,” but struggled to provide any examples, admitting that hadn’t actually used the feed for several weeks.

“Then, I say, sir, that you don’t know what you’re talking about,” Musk interjected.

  • You can’t provide a single example of hateful content, not even one Tweet. And yet, you claimed that hateful content was high. That is false. You just lied.

The BBC reporter insisted that there are “many organizations” that have noted a rise in offensive content on the platform. Musk dismissed that notion, stating that “people say all sorts of nonsense,” which prompted Clayton to move on to the next topic.

The journalist then asked Musk about Twitter changing its COVID misinformation rules. The billionaire replied that “COVID is no longer an issue” and argued that the BBC itself could be accused of spreading misinformation about the virus and failing to report on the side-effects of vaccinations.

  • “And what about the fact that the BBC was put under pressure by the British government to change their editorial policy?” Musk asked.

Clayton deflected by saying the interview “wasn’t about the BBC.”

  • The British broadcaster later aired parts of the interview and simply ran with the headline: “Elon Musk speaks to the BBC.”

Despite his criticism of the broadcaster, Musk said during the interview that Twitter will change the BBC’s recently added “government-funded organization” label on the social media platform to say that it is “publicly-funded” instead.

Source: RT