Musk touches on Twitter criticism and workload at G20 forum

It’s not easy being Elon Musk.

That was the message the new owner of Twitter and billionaire head of Tesla and SpaceX had for younger people who might look to emulate his business success.

“Be careful what you wish for,” Musk told a business forum in Bali on Monday when asked what an up-and-coming “Elon Musk of the East” should focus on.

“I’m not sure how many people would like to be me. They would like to be what they imagine me to be, which is not the same,” he continued. “I mean, the amount I torture myself, it’s next level, frankly.”

Musk was speaking at the B-20 business forum ahead of the summit of the Group of 20 leading economies being held on the Indonesian resort island. He joined the conference call via video link weeks after completing his much-scrutinized takeover of Twitter.

He was expected to attend the event in person, but Indonesian government minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, responsible for coordinating preparations for the summit, said Musk was unable to attend because he is preparing for a court case later in the week.

He has plenty more to keep him busy.

“My workload has increased a lot recently,” he said with a laugh in an apparent reference to the Twitter deal. “I mean, oh man. I’ve got too much work on my plate, that’s for sure.”

The businessman appeared in a dark room, saying that there was a power outage just before he connected.

His face, projected on a large screen above the summit hall, appeared to glow red as it reflected in what he said was candlelight, a face he noted was “so strange.”

Although Musk was among the most anticipated speakers at the business forum, his remarks broke little new ground. Only the moderator could ask questions.

Tesla’s CEO said the electric carmaker would consider making a much cheaper model when asked about lower-cost options for developing countries such as India and G20 host Indonesia.

“We did think that making a much more affordable vehicle would make a lot of sense and we should do something about it,” he said.

Musk also reiterated his desire to significantly increase the amount and length of Twitter’s video offerings and share revenue with the people who produce the content, though he did not provide specifics.

He bought Twitter for $44 billion last month and quickly ousted the company’s board and top executives.

He laid off much of the rest of the company’s full-time workforce via email last November. 4 and is now eliminating the jobs of subcontractors tasked with fighting misinformation and other harmful content.

Musk has promised to ease restrictions on what users can say on the platform.

He received a lot of complaints – many on Twitter itself – and tried to reassure companies that advertise on the platform and others that he will not damage their brands by associating them with harmful content.

In his appearance on Monday, Musk acknowledged the criticism.

“There’s no way to make everybody happy, that’s for sure,” he said.

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