What just happened? They both may be billionaires, but Elon Musk and Bill Gates are not best friends. The latest spat between the two is over Twitter’s acquisition of Twitter, which the former Microsoft boss warned could make the platform “worse.”
According to CNBCGates spoke at the Wall Street Journal CEO summit on Wednesday about Musk’s takeover of Twitter. Much of what he said has to do with statements by the Tesla boss that he will reduce moderation on the platform and embrace free speech principles.
But Gates has questioned Musk’s plan and his ultimate goal for Twitter. How does he feel about something? [on Twitter] that says “vaccines kill people” or that “is Bill Gates tracking people?” Gates asked. “What are his goals in how it ends? Does this fit with the idea that less extreme lies spread so quickly? [and] weird conspiracy theories? Does he share this goal or not?
My conversations with Gates are unimpressive.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 18, 2020
Musk has spoken of his desire to make Twitter a free-speech bastion by taking a more relaxed approach to moderating tweets, although the EU appears to have something to say about making the site public. He also wants to get rid of the bot problem on the platform and the open source Twitter algorithm.
However, Gates praised Musk. He called his time at the helm of Tesla and SpaceX “mind blowing” and said he did a good job bringing together great engineering teams at those companies.
“I’m a little doubtful that it will happen this time [at Twitter]but we have to be open-minded and never underestimate Elon,” Gates added.
Twitter will always be free for general users, but possibly a small fee for commercial/government users.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 3, 2022
Musk also talked about his ideas to make Twitter more profitable, including charging fees to embed tweets and having businesses and governments pay to use the service.
Musk confirmed last month that he confronted Gates about selling Tesla shares, which he followed up with tweet mocking Gates’ appearance. This marked the final showdown between the pair after public disagreements over Covid-19, Mars colonization and cryptocurrencies.