Elon Musk calls Twitter acquisition ‘pretty painful’ in new interview

Elon Musk has called his takeover of Twitter “pretty painful” in an unexpected late-night interview with the BBC.

The tech billionaire met with BBC North America tech reporter James Clayton at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters on Tuesday night local time.

When asked if his previous comments on Twitter were “painful,” Musk acknowledged it still was, but added, “I wasn’t stabbed like some people around here.” The comment is said to be self-contained to the murder of Cash App founder Bob Lee, who was stabbed to death in San Francisco last week.

“I was constantly being attacked,” Musk continued. “It’s not like I have a cold heart or anything. When you’re constantly being criticized or attacked and that’s also being fed via Twitter – it’s tough, you know. At the end of the day I think it’s not good if you lose your feedback loop, so I think getting negative feedback is important. I don’t turn off replies and have removed my entire block list so I don’t block anyone either. That’s why I get a lot of negative feedback.”

“Of course, when the media is constantly writing stories about why you’re a terrible person, it’s hurtful,” Musk added.

When Clayton asked if Musk had an “odd” relationship with the media, Musk acknowledged that he did. “It’s kind of a love-hate relationship, although it could be [going] a little bit more towards hate. This is an essential part of a free media situation. I’m confident that the media can trash me regularly in the US and UK and so on. Whereas in many places the media cannot speak evil to those in power. But I think it’s better if we have a situation where the media can say mean things to powerful people.”

Clayton also questioned whether removing verification badges from users, including older media outlets like the New York Times, could potentially spread misinformation on the platform. “I must confess that I was pleased to remove the verification badge from The New York Times,” Musk said. “Anyway, they’re still alive and fine, so they’re fine.”

After the interview wrapped, Musk stayed online to answer questions via Twitter Spaces.

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