Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk reacts during a roundtable event with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in London, Britain, Thursday, November 2, 2023.

Kirsty Wigglesworth | Reuters

Elon Musk, the owner of the social media site

“If someone tries to blackmail me with advertising? Blackmail me with money? Get ready.” He added: “Don’t advertise.”

He also suggested that fans of him and X would boycott these advertisers in kind. He specifically targeted Disney.

“The whole world will know that these advertisers killed the company, and we will document it in detail,” Musk threatened.

He also told interviewer Andrew Ross Sorkin: “I don’t have a problem with being hated. Hate gone.”

In recent weeks, Musk has promoted and sometimes verbally supported what the White House described as “anti-Semitic and racist hatred” on X, formerly Twitter, the social media platform he owns and operates as CTO.

He called those tweets “one of the stupidest, if not the stupidest thing I’ve ever done on the platform.”

“I’m sorry for that tweet or post,” he said. He added: “I did my best until Sunday to make it clear, but at least you know that in time I think it will be obvious that I am in fact not an anti-Semite but rather a philosemite.”

His inflammatory posts on the social media platform caused major advertisers including Disney, Apple and many others to suspend their campaigns there and drove some famous users off the platform, including Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

Musk, who is also CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, denied that he was anti-Semitic, telling X: “Clear calls for extreme violence violate our terms of service and will result in suspension.”

He also traveled to Israel this week, where he met and spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. When Netanyahu said he wanted to “deradicalize” and “rebuild” Gaza, Musk offered to help. Musk told Sorkin on stage that his visit to Israel was planned before his tweets and was not part of an “apology tour.” Musk previously said he wanted to bring the SpaceX satellite communications service to Israel and humanitarian organizations in Gaza.

Musk’s personal account

Trade unions, China and OpenAI

Earlier Wednesday, the UAW launched campaigns targeting Tesla and 12 other automakers in the United States. Sorkin asked Musk what this means for his electric vehicle business.

Musk held generally negative views about unions, saying they create a “masters-and-peasants atmosphere” in companies and, of course, “try to create negativity” by pitting workers against management.

He said: “Many people at Tesla have moved from working on the assembly line to management, and there are no masters and pawns – everyone eats at the same table.”

He also added, “If Tesla is unionized, it will be because we deserve it and we have failed in some way.”

At one point Sorkin asked, “Do you feel like anyone has any influence over you?”

Musk responded: “If we make bad products that people don’t want to use, users will vote with their resources and use something else. My companies are monitored by regulators. SpaceX, Starlink, Tesla – are cumulatively monitored by…a few hundred regulators because we are in 55 countries.”

He later noted that he complied with almost all of the regulations imposed on his companies, but “every now and then” he disagreed with a regulation, objected to it, and did not comply. “I’m an incredible rule follower,” he claimed.

Sorkin asked, “How do you assess the influence the Chinese have on you?” in reference to Tesla’s factory there and the company’s reliance on Chinese consumers for some of its sales. Sorkin added: “Is it hypocritical for you to do business in China or other countries when it comes to X and other things that don’t follow the path of free speech that you advocate?”

The CEO replied: “The best thing the platform can do is comply with the laws of a particular country. Do you think we can do more?”

He later added that he believes Chinese electric car companies are extremely competitive, saying that many people believe that the ten largest electric car companies in the world will be Tesla and nine Chinese manufacturers.

Regarding OpenAI and the recent boardroom troubles, Musk said he’s spoken to many people but hasn’t figured out what exactly led to the recent firing and subsequent rehiring of CEO Sam Altman. He also said he had “mixed feelings” about Altman personally and suggested that he felt the OpenAI CEO had too much power. “The Ring of Power can corrupt.”

When founded, OpenAI’s original board included both Altman and Musk, but Musk left the company in 2018 after poaching a star engineer from the company to lead Autopilot software development at Tesla.

Musk also said that he is worried about the danger of AI harming humanity and that he has “trouble sleeping at night” because of it.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

Source : www.cnbc.com

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